Barbecued Turkey with Herbs and Citrus Butter

Turkey cooks beautifully over a slow barbecue, creating a moist and succulent bird. By removing the ribs and breast bones from the bird it allows it to cook evenly so that the breast isn't dry and chewy, it also means a third of the cooking time.

6-8 portions
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 3 hours


Herb and Citrus Butter

  • 100g butter
  • 4 tbsp fresh mixed herbs, finely chopped eg. parsley, sage, thyme, basil, tarragon
  • zest and juice from one lime and 1 orange
  • a generous pinch of paprika


  • 4-5kg Turkey, spatchcocked (see below), you may leave it whole prepared for roasting but you will need to increase the cooking time and turn it half way through cooking or simply bone a turkey crown (breast only)
  • 5 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 litre turkey stock (see below)
  • 375ml dry white wine

To Serve

  • Gravy
  • Cranberry and Port Sauce
  • Chestnut and Sage Sausage Stuffing Balls
  • Barbecued New Potatoes in Pesto Oil
  • Rocket Salad


  1. Herb and Citrus Butter: Mix the butter with the, garlic, herbs, orange zest and a tablespoon of the juice in a bowl until well combined.
  2. To Prepare Turkey: Prepare the barbecue to a moderate-high heat. Remove the wish bone from the turkey by running your knife around it and pulling it out (optional). Loosen the skin between it and the breast and starting from the neck end, gently push the herb and citrus butter between the skin and breast. Mix the oil, dried herbs and seasoning in a bowl. Season the turkey with plenty of salt and pepper and rub the herb oil over the turkey generously. Pour any remaining oil or a bit extra over a large roasting tray or oven proof tray (so that it is well coated). Place the turkey breast side down on the tray.
  3. To Barbecue: Place the turkey in the tray on the preheated barbecue. Place the cover over and leave it to cook Cook the for 40 minutes then baste it, add more coal to the barbecue if necessary and leave it to cook for a further 30-40 minutes. Baste the turkey again adding a little more orange juice, water and olive oil if it is becoming dry. The barbecue should be at a low-moderate heat add more coal if necessary but make sure the heat isn't too hot. Cook for a further 1 hour and thirty minutes to 2 hours, basting the turkey regularly with the pan juices. To check that the turkey is cooked spike it in the thickest part of the meat with a fork and the juices should run clear. Remove the turkey from the barbecue and roasting tin or tray. Place it on a serving tray cover it with foil and place it in a warm lace for 10 -20 minutes before serving.
  4. Gravy: Place the turkey stock and wine in saucepan and bring it to the boil. Reduce it to a strong simmer and leave it to reduce until you have a pourable sauce that just coats the back of a spoon. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. To Serve: Serve the Turkey with all the above trimmings, giving everyone a little dark meat (leg meat), white meat and stuffing.
  • Turkey Stock: Rinse turkey giblets and place them in a saucepan with any turkey bones (if you have any) carrot slices, celery, bay leaf, 4 peppercorns, 1 onion, garlic clove, handful of parsley and 500ml of water. Bring it to the boil and remove the scum that rises to the top, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 1-3 hours. Remove the stock from the heat and strain it. Cool the stock and refrigerate in a covered container until ready to use. You can prepare the stock in advance or while you are cooking the turkey.