Talking turkey has never been so much fun. Chef Gearóid Lynch of The Olde Post Inn in Cavan joined Joe Finnegan in studio on Monday to talk about “The Main Event” on Christmas Day. Listen back to his top tips below and scroll down for his perfect turkey recipe.
Roast Turkey with Lemon Parsley
& Garlic Butter
1 free-range turkey about 5–5.5kg
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 onions, peeled and halved
1 lemon, halved
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
2 bay leaves
Olive oil, to drizzle
8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
Lemon Parsley & Garlic Butter
375g butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp olive oil
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 small lemons
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
Preheat oven to 220°C/Gas 7.
To prepare the herb butter. Put the butter in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil and mix well. Add lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic and chopped parsley and mix.
Remove the giblets from the turkey. Season the cavity well with salt & pepper, then stuff with onions, lemon, garlic and 2 bay leaves.
With your hands, loosen the skin on the breast to stuff the flavoured butter underneath, making sure to keep the skin intact. Repeat with skin on the legs –feel your way under the skin and out towards the leg to loosen the gap.
Stuff half the butter mix into the opened spaces under the skin. Rub the butter around the breasts so that the meat is evenly covered.
Place on a large roasting tray, breast side up. Spread the rest of the butter over the skin. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with a olive oil. (If preparing a day ahead, cover the turkey with foil and refrigerate at this stage.)
Roast the turkey in the hot oven for 10–15 minutes.
Take the tray out of the oven, baste the bird with the pan juices and lay the bacon rashers over the breast to keep it moist.
Baste again. Lower the setting to 180°C/Gas 4. Calculate the time at 30 min per kg
To test if the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices are running clear, rather than pink. As oven temperatures and turkey shapes and sizes vary, it is crucial to check your turkey about 30 minutes before the calculated roasting time. If the juices are pink, roast for another 15 minutes and check again. Repeat as necessary until the turkey is cooked.
Remove the Turkey from the tray and reserve the pan juices for the gravy.
Leave the turkey to rest in a warm place for at least 45 minutes; make the gravy in the meantime.