Whole Citrus Roasted Turkey

The turkey is always the “big deal” of the Thanksgiving feast, yet many worry that it’s too hard to roast their own whole turkey. This Whole Citrus Roasted Turkey recipe yields delicious, juicy results without a ton of headache and with the fresh, unexpected zestiness of citrus flavors. You’ll be sure to delight the palates of your guests (and yourself!) with this exceptionally mouth-watering bird that is anything but dry.

Whole Citrus Roasted Turkey
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Whole Citrus Roasted Turkey

Servings 8

Total Time: 3 hours

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours


  • 12 pound(s) turkey, whole, free-range
  • 1 piece(s) roasting pan (with lid or poultry baking bag)
  • 2 cup(s) coconut oil ghee, or lard
  • 3 medium grapefruit(s) juiced and zested
  • 3 medium orange(s) juiced and zested
  • 3 medium lemon(s) juiced and zested
  • 4 medium garlic clove(s) peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon(s) thyme, dried
  • 1 medium grapefruit(s) peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 medium lime(s) washed and cut into wedges
  • 2 medium lemon(s) washed and cut into wedges
  • 4 cup(s) turkey stock or chicken stock
  • 1 cup(s) turkey bone broth or water if preferred
  • 1 teaspoon(s) sea salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon(s) black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F). Remove turkey from any wrapping (or from the brine) and remove the neck and gizzards by pulling it out of the open cavity. You may discard the neck or save to be used with the gravy. Wash the turkey under cold water for a minute. Pat dry with paper towels and place upside down on a plate or tray.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the ghee, the citrus zest, the citrus juice, the thyme, and the grated garlic. Stir until it’s well mixed. Using a basting brush (or your fingers), lift the skin and coat the turkey on all sides with the ghee mixture. (Be careful, this can get slick!) Place the turkey breast side up in the roaster. Sprinkle the sea salt and pepper over the turkey. Pour the turkey bone broth into the bottom of the pan along with the turkey stock.
  3. Stuff the turkey with the wedged grapefruit, orange, lemon and lime.
  4. Place the lid on the pan. (If using a roasting bag, place the whole stuffed turkey inside of the bag. Be sure to follow the instructions for the baking bag by adding slits where directed to do so.)
  5. Roast covered in the oven for 60 minutes. Remove the lid and roast for another 40 to 60 minutes, cooking until the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Continue to check the temperature every 30 minutes after that. When it reaches that temperature, remove from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. (If using a roasting bag, do not remove the bag during the cooking process, and do not increase the oven temperature. Continue to check temps as directed.)