Great Glazed Turkey

Recipe yoinked from Bon Appetit. The glaze was good, but didn’t make a crispy skin. This is a great recipe with just the spice mix, dry brine, and roasting method. The meat was juicy and had great flavor. Wipe off the surface brine before coating with oil otherwise it might be too salty and the oil washes most of it off anyway.

Since we don’t like a whole turkey, I roasted a whole breast and six thighs for guests.

12–14 lb. turkey or use parts
3 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns or mix of black and pink peppercorns
½ cup Diamond Crystal or ¼ cup plus 1½ tsp. Morton kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2Tbsp. onion powder
1Tbsp. light brown sugar
1Tbsp. smoked paprika

Small handful of hardy herbs (such as sage, rosemary, bay leaves, and/or thyme)
8 garlic cloves, crushed
4 2×1″ strips orange zest
2/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2/3 cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
6 Tbsp. neutral oil (such as vegetable, peanut, or canola) for coating the turkey

The original recipe calls for cutting the turkey up. I suggest either having your butcher do this or just use parts. Jointing a turkey ain’t fun.

  1. Grind peppercorns and mix with the spices.
  2. Place turkey pieces, skin side up, on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle salt mixture liberally all over turkey, patting to adhere. Chill bird, uncovered, at least 24 hours and up to 2 days.
  3. Remove turkey from wire rack and rinse baking sheet and rack if needed (turkey will most likely release some liquid). Line baking sheet with 3 layers of foil to make cleanup easy and set rack back inside. Arrange turkey pieces on rack, skin side up, and let sit at room temperature 2–3 hours to help decrease the cooking time.
  4. Meanwhile, cook glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and glaze thickens slightly (it should just barely coat a spoon), 10–12 minutes. Remove glaze from heat.
  5. Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 425°. Brush most of the spice rub off the skin and then rub turkey with oil and pour 1 cup water into baking sheet. Roast turkey, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until skin is mostly golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300° and continue to roast turkey, brushing with glaze every 20 minutes and adding more water by ½-cupfuls as needed to maintain some liquid in baking sheet, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast registers 150°, and 170° when inserted into the thickest part of the thighs, 50–70 minutes longer (total cooking time will be 1–1½ hours). Skin should be deep golden brown and shiny. Transfer turkey to a cutting board; tent loosely with foil. Let rest 30–60 minutes before carving.