Lemon, Honey & Rosemary Turkey

Prep time: 30min
Total time: 270min
Serves 12
9 lb frozen young, grain fed butter (approx. 4 kg) basted turkey, defrosted
2 tbsp
butter, room temperature
1 tsp
black pepper, divided
5 mL
sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped, stems set aside, divided
zest and juice of 2 lemons, divided, halves set aside; plus another lemon, sliced thinly
medium onion, cut into wedges
1/2 cup
white wine, room temperature, divided
125 mL
3 tbsp
liquid honey
45 mL
1 cup
chicken broth - 35% less sodium
250 mL
2 tbsp
30 mL
1/4 cup
cold water
60 mL
1/12 of the recipe
21 g
saturated fat
7 g
7 g
50 g
150 mg
190 mg
540 mg


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water; blot dry with paper towel. Set aside on the counter.

  2. In a small bowl, combine butter, half of the pepper, half of rosemary, half lemon juice and half lemon zest. Loosen the turkey skin with your fingers and spread the mixture underneath and on top of the skin.

  3. Sprinkle remaining pepper in the cavity and insert the 4 lemon halves, remaining lemon juice, rosemary stems and onions. Tie thighs together with kitchen string. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and insert a meat thermometer in the meatiest part of the thigh (avoid bone). Tent with foil.

  4. Roast bird in the oven on the lowest rack for 3 hrs 15 min. In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup wine and honey, remove foil, place lemon slices on top and baste turkey with wine and honey mixture. Continue to roast for another 30 min., or until the thermometer reads 180ºF (85ºC).

  5. Remove turkey from oven and transfer to a serving plate. Allow to stand, covered with foil, for 15 min. Meanwhile, pour pan drippings into a bowl. Allow oil to rise to the surface and skim off with a spoon. Strain the liquid using a fine strainer and reserve. Should yield 1 to 1 1/2 cups.

  6. Place the roasting pan on the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Add remaining white wine and stir, scraping browned bits from bottom of the pan. Allow to simmer for 1 min. Add turkey drippings and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Dilute cornstarch in water and stir into sauce. Allow to boil, stirring, until sauce thickens slightly. Add remaining chopped rosemary and zest. Serve with the turkey.


Is it done yet? Always use a meat thermometer to check if your turkey is cooked properly. Insert the thermometer into the meatiest part of the thigh (avoid the fat and bones). To prevent it from drying out, remove the turkey when it reaches 180°F (82°C), the internal temperature will continue to rise to 185°F (85°C). Signs the turkey is nearly done: • The drumstick easily pulls away from the socket. • The juices from the bird run clear (not pink) when pierced. • The meat has lost its pinkish hue. Use a spoon to place the butter, lemon and rosemary mixture under the turkey skin, then spread it by massaging the outside of the skin with your fingers to evenly distribute the mixture.