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Glazed Turkey

Plum and Five Spiced Glazed Turkey with Plum Gravy

Sweet and so flavorful, this turkey is slathered in a fresh plum glaze, filled with warm Chinese five spice. Five spice is a mixture of fennel seed, star anise, clove, cinnamon and Sichuan peppercorns, and it brings a subtle heat to all the traditional warm holiday flavors. When mixed with ripe black plums, it is a perfect match. The turkey here is cooked two ways, first upside down so all the juices can run into the breast meat, keeping it extra moist. Then it’s set right side up and coated in the thick glaze to finish roasting. Pairing this dish with a light red wine pulls the warm flavors from the Chinese five spice into the forefront and compliments the ripe juicy character of the plum and tender subtle flavor of the turkey.

Serves 8-10

  • 1 16 lbs turkey
  • 4 ripe black plums
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp ground Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
Glazed Turkey
  • Thoroughly rinse the turkey and set on a baking sheet to come to room temperature, between 2 and 3 hours. To make the glaze, slice the plums into quarters and remove the pit. Place the sliced plums in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, five spice and black pepper, and blend until fully combined. Transfer to a medium sized pot. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute, reduce heat and simmer at a low boil until the glaze is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool on the counter. Set aside ½ cup of the glaze for the gravy.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F, remove all but one oven rack, place the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
  • Discard any liquid on the baking sheet that has collected from the turkey resting. Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel. Drizzle the turkey with the olive oil and rub it all over the bird, sprinkle the salt all over the skin. Tear a large piece of aluminum foil, large enough to cover the top of the bird. Coat it in a little olive oil or cooking spray and place it over the bird, tucking the foil around the top of the breast into the cavity, this will protect the skin from cracking during the first part of cooking. Place the bird breast side down onto a rack inside a large roasting pan. Roast for 45 minutes, until the bottom of the bird is well browned. Remove the roasting pan from the oven.
  • Decrease the oven temperature to 325° F and prepare a baking sheet with two layers of aluminum foil to make cleanup easier! Carefully, using oven mitts and tongs, transfer the bird to the prepared baking sheet, turning it breast side up, and remove the foil. Using a basting brush, generously coat the bird in the plum glaze. It will be thick and will easily coat the bird. Place the bird back in the oven. Pour 1 cup of the drippings from the roasting pan onto the baking sheet and discard the rest. Roast for 30 minutes, checking to remove any excess drippings from the baking sheet. Remove from the oven and coat the bird with the remaining glaze. Bake an additional 10 minutes then begin checking if the turkey is cooked. The turkey is done when the internal temperature is between 150 - 160° F, check every 10 minutes until it's fully cooked and a deep golden brown. When the turkey is done, remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter or large cutting board. Lightly tent with aluminum foil, allowing it to rest 15-20 minutes.
  • Pour the drippings from the baking sheet into a small pot and add the reserved plum glaze. Whisk the cornstarch with 2 Tbsp of cold water, until fully dissolved and no lumps remain. Pour into the plum gravy and stir to combine. Place gravy over medium high heat; stirring constantly, bring it to a rolling boil, boil for one minute and remove from heat, it will be glossy and thick. Pour into a gravy boat or serving bowl.
  • Remove the tented foil from the bird, carve and serve immediately.
  • Turkey will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days or freeze for up to three months. The gravy will store in an airtight container for up to one week.



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