Roasted Citrus and Saffron Turkey with a Jewelled Couscous Stuffing

Citrus butter under the skin of the turkey ensures a moist and succulent turkey, of course the flavour of the butter can vary in winter a wild mushroom butter is excellent (the butter is also delicious with chicken). A saffron glaze provides a rich colour and flavour to the bird, while the couscous absorbs its juices for a scrumptious accompaniment. The beauty of this recipe is that it is tasty served hot or cold, in hot weather it seems pure madness to have a meal of hot heavy food. Save yourself the nightmare of getting everything ready on time for your christmas dinner, prepare the meal the day before and serve a feast of cold turkey.

8-12 Portions (dependant on size)
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 2 1/2 - 3 hours (allow 18-20 minutes per 450g)



  • 4kg-5.5kg Turkey
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 375ml white wine
  • maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

Citrus Butter

  • 150g butter (at room temperature)
  • zest from 2 limes and 1 orange, Juice from 1 lime and juice 1/4 orange (remaining juice for turkey)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander

Saffron Butter

  • 100g butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 2 tbsp boiling water


  • Jewelled Couscous (see recipe)
  • 1/2 orange

Dressing of Pan Juices and Verjuice

  • 200ml verjuice
  • 100ml white wine
  • 300ml chicken or turkey stock

To Serve

  • Sausage and Bacon Koftas (see recipe)
  • Salad of Summer Roasted Vegetables (optional)(see recipe)
  • Cranberry and Cointreau Sauce (see recipe)


  1. Citrus Butter: Mix the butter with the lime and orange zest, 1tbsp each of the lime and orange juice (reserve the remaining juice for the turkey), and the coriander in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Saffron Glaze: Place the saffron in a bowl and pour over the boiling water leave to infuse for 15-20 minutes. Mix the butter into the saffron infusion, until well combined.
  3. To Prepare Turkey: Preheat an oven to 200°C. Remove the wish bone from the turkey by running your knife around it and pulling it out (this allows you to carve the turkey easily). Loosen the skin between it and the breast and starting from the neck end, gently rub the citrus butter between the skin and breast. Fill the cavity loosely with the Jeweled couscous (see recipe), sealing the cavity with 1/2 an orange (any leftover couscous can be served cold with the turkey). Coat the bottom of a large roasting tin with 2-3 tbsp of the olive oil. Place the turkey in in the tin pour over a little of the citrus juice and 300ml wine, Rub the saffron butter generously all over the bird and season with salt and pepper. Tie the turkey legs together at the drumstick.
  4. To Cook: Place turkey in the preheated oven. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180C and cook for a further 30-40 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven (the skin should be crisp and golden), Baste it, cover with foil and return it to the oven. Roast for a further 2 1/2-3 hours (according to the size of the turkey, allow 18-20 minutes per 450g). Baste the turkey regularly (every 30-30 minutes) with the pan juices and any remaining saffron butter, if the pan becomes dry add more wine and juice. To check that the turkey is ready spike it in the thickest part of the leg with a fork , the juices should run clear, if pink it needs to be returned to the oven for a further 20 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven and roasting tin. Place on a serving tray, cover with foil and place in a warm place for 20-30 minutes before serving.
  5. Dressing: Remove the fat from the baking tray. Place the tray over a high heat and deglaze with the verjuice, bringing it to the boil, add the stock and allow to simmer vigorously until reduced by half. Strain the sauce and serve hot or cold from a sauceboat (if preparing the sauce in advance, refrigerate in a covered container and remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving, scoop off any fat, reheat adding 2-3 tbsp of verjuice and allow to cool before serving cold).
  6. To Serve: Serve the Turkey with all the trimmings, giving everyone a little dark meat (leg meat), white meat and couscous stuffing.