Gordon Ramsay’s Christmas Turkey with Gravy

I finally had a chance of trying Gordon Ramsay’s Christmas Turkey. It was awesome and stress free (I have tried several lengthy and stresfull recipes on the internet). This is the recipe I will be using, in future. However, I am not sure these temperatures would work for bigger birds say 10kg (22Ib). I think the temperatures would need to be adjusted, and probably, the turkey would need to be loosely tented, to avoid over browning.

Herbed butter: mix all ingredients. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and add a touch of olive oil.

The Bird cavity: season the bird cavity liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the onion, apple, lemon and rosemary sprigs. Close the cavity with a toothpick.

Remove the bacon and chop into pieces

Set bird aside to rest for at least one hour

then carve

This is the best roast turkey I’ve had so far!!!

Gordon Ramsay's Christmas Turkey with Gravy

What I did
The bird I roasted weighed 6.6kg (14Ib). I first roasted at 430ºF (220ºC) convection setting for 18 minutes then turned the oven to normal setting at 350ºF (180ºC) for 1 hour, then reduced the temperature to 330ºF (165ºC) at normal setting for another two hours. My total roasting time was 3 hours 18 minutes. I rested the bird for 2 hours, then carved it. It was the best turkey I ever had. Juicy, tasty and stress free to make. I highly recommend this recipe. If you don’t have a convection oven you can use 450ºF (230ºC) normal setting for 18 minutes.
October 8, 2018: I roasted a 4kg (9Ib) turkey for 2 hours 18 minutes. Perfectly roasted!!!


  • 5-6.5kg (11-14Ib) turkey, thawed, washed and patted dry
  • Smoked streaky bacon (side bacon)

For the herbed butter

  • 200-300g (½ Ib, 1 cup) soft butter
  • Zest and juice of two medium lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Handful finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • A touch of olive oil

The Bird Cavity

  • Generous sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium onions halved
  • 1 medium apple quartered
  • 1 small lemon
  • Rosemary sprigs


  • Preheat the oven to 430ºF (220ºC), convection setting ten minutes before using. (I used convection setting in the first 18 minutes.)- you can use 450ºF (230ºC) normal setting if you dont have a convection oven.
  • Make the herbed butter: mix all ingredients. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and add a touch of olive oil.
  • Season the Bird cavity: season the bird cavity liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the onion, apple, lemon and rosemary sprigs. Close the cavity with a toothpick.
  • To moisten the breast: Lift and loosen the top skin (do not tear). Also loosen skin around neck cavity. Take a ball of the herbed soft butter and carefully lift the skin above the breast and insert the butter and massage it all over the breast. Also lift the skin under the neck cavity and insert and massage butter.
  • Rub the rest of the butter evenly over the whole bird and sprinkle with some olive oil. Season the bird liberally with salt and pepper to taste. (I melted the remaining herbed butter and used a brush)
  • Roast the turkey for 18 minutes at 430ºF (220ºC), convection setting or 450ºF/230ºC normal setting..Remove the turkey, baste liberally with the juices and cover the breast up to thighs with smoked streaky bacon (all the bacon in my local store are streaky-I never saw anything else).
  • Reduce the temperature to 350ºF (180ºC) regular setting and roast the turkey for 1 hour. Remove the turkey and baste liberally with the juices.
  • Reduce the temperature to 330ºF (165ºC) regular setting and roast the turkey for another two hours, basting, liberally, every hour. Check temperature for doneness. My 14Ib (6.5kg) turkey was done in 3 hours 18 minutes.
  • Checking doneness: Butterball recommends the following temperatures: 180ºF (82ºC) for the thigh); 170ºF (76ºC) for deepest part of breast and 165ºF (74º) for the centre of stuffing, if used). The USDA recommended minimum safe internal temperature is 165ºF
  • Resting the turkey: Remove turkey from roasting juices and set aside to rest for at least 1 hour. The longer the better, according to Gordon Ramsay. Carve the turkey.

Ingredients For the Gravy

  • Bacon from top of roasted turkey, chopped
  • Lemon and onion from bird cavity, chopped
  • 3 chopped fresh tomatoes
  • Tips of wings and parsons nose, from the roasted turkey
  • Sprigs of rosemary
  • A glug of cider
  • Chicken stock
  • Crushed walnuts

Gordon Ramsay’s Turkey Gravy with Cider and Walnut

  1. Drain the excess oil from the roasting pan juices and set the roasting juices aside. Cook the bacon, onions and lemon.
  2. Add a few rosemary sprigs to give it an aromatic punch, tomatoes (to thicken the gravy and give it a lovely fresh taste), the tips of wings and parsons nose.
  3. Add a glug of cider (it adds a lovely supple flavour) and the roasting juices and let cook until reduced in half. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher to extract maximum flavour, then add the chicken stock and let cook again until reduced in half.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning and then sieve the gravy. Use the back of the ladle to push the meat and vegetables through the sieve to extract maximum flavour. Toss in fresh rosemary sprigs to the sieved gravy to infuse rosemary flavour.
  5. Add some crushed walnuts to the bottom of the gravy boat and ladle hot gravy. Serve hot on rested turkey
  6. Last Updated: November 19, 2020


How to Carve a turkey

This is the video I use to carve my turkey. It works perfect every time!!!!


Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

31 thoughts

  1. I see a lot of recipes that say to turn the turkey when cooking. Do you turn the turkey in this recipe? How would I keep the bacon from falling off of I turned it over?

    1. If you use bacon you cannot turn it over. you can however turn the roasting dish in different directions. I am sure you already roasted your turkey by now and I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving!!!!

  2. Regarding the lemon placed in the cavity- are they the same lemons that you squeezed for the herb butter, as well as grated for the rind? Moreover, these lemons are also sliced and mashed for the gravy?

    1. A fresh whole lemon is put in the bird cavity. Once the turkey is ready the roasted lemon from the cavity is sliced and used to make the gravy. It’s a matter of personal choice you can chose to add it or not. The gravy will have a nice lemon taste. I hope this helps

      1. Thank you very much. I was surprised by the amount of cider placed, when I tried researching a glug, they said around 2 tablespoons. I’m guessing this apple cider is totally different from apple cider vinegar?

        1. Yes of course cider is completely different from apple cider vinegar. You cannot add more than two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
          On the other hand cider is an alcoholic beverage commonly used in Europe. They call It apple cider and has about 5-7% alcohol. I think it’s closer to a sparkling white wine. When making the gravy you can just add and taste as you go along. Gordon poured a lot of it. I wish you a happy cooking.

  3. Regarding the lemon that you place inside the cavity, is this the same lemon that you got the squeezed and got the rind from?

    1. Hello Marc,
      After grating the rind and squeezing the juice you throw away those 4 lemon halves.
      The lemon you place inside is a fresh whole lemon so technically you need three lemons in total
      I hope this helps. Stay safe and happy roasting!!!

      1. Sorry; let me rephrase: I tried mixing the soft butter with everything like he said, but the lemon juice never incorporated into the butter. Any ideas why/tips?

        1. You should make sure the butter really soft then beat it with a hand mixer until it’s soft and fluffy, then add the the finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper and continue beating, then slowly incorporate the lemon juice while beating with the hand mixer. Juice from two lemons may be too much depending on the size of the lemons. You can adjust to suit you. It should work. Unfortunately this thanksgiving I did not roast a turkey but I am going to roast one over Christmas. Let me know how it goes. Wish you a pleasant weekend!

    1. Gordon poured a lot of apple cider straight from the bottle and he just calls it apple cider it must have been 1-2 cups. I think it depends on how much roasting juices you have in the roasting pan and how much gravy you want . I used normal apple cider in a can from the liquor store here in Canada (500ml which is two cups) and reduced the gravy to half by simmering over high heat. Any apple cider will do but some taste better than others. It’s like using wine for cooking you might try a few until you find the one you like. Thanks stay safe

  4. I u derstand the need to rest the bird and other meat after cooking, but how on earth can you serve hot turkey if it’s been “resting” for over and hour?

    1. That is Gordon Ramsay’s recommendation. You can let it rest 30 minutes, if you want it hot or serve it with hot gravy (says Gordon Ramsay). Have a happy and prosperous 2020.

  5. I’m excited to try this recipe. I loved learning how to cut a turkey after all these years. I rate this a 10!

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