Clinton Kelly's Lemon Sage Turkey

Clinton Kelly
Servings: 10 to 14
2+ hr

Dig into this turkey dish.

  • Ingredients
  • step-by-step directions
Clinton Kelly's Lemon Sage Turkey
  • 12-16 pound turkey (brined and thawed)
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 3 lemons
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 shallot (finely minced)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
  • 3 tablespoon minced sage
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • Preheat oven to 425° F. Arrange an oven shelf in the lower third of the oven.
  • Let turkey come to room temperature.  If not brining turkey, remove the neck and giblets from the body and neck cavities, and reserve them for turkey broth. Drain the juices and pat the bird dry inside and out.
  • Meanwhile, make the compound butter.  In a large bowl, combine room temperature butter, shallot, garlic, minced sage, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Stir together with a rubber spatula.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  • Arrange the turkey breast side up in a rack (preferably a v-rack), set in a heavy, large roasting pan. 
  • Season the inside of the turkey with salt & pepper to taste. Puncture two lemons with a fork and stuff inside both cavities of the turkey along with fresh sage.
  • Carefully smooth compound butter under the skin of the turkey, being mindful not to tear the membrane connecting the skin to the breast.  Thinly slice remaining lemon and slide slices under the skin along with butter.
  • Coat outside of the bird with olive oil, and rub all over skin. Season generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Roast turkey in the lower third of the oven for 20 minutes at 425° F.  Then turn oven down to 325° F and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the leg-thigh joint reads 165° F.
  • Transfer the turkey to a platter, leaving the drippings in the pan for the gravy and cover the turkey loosely with foil. Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes, preferably 30 minutes before carving.
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