24 of November 2019




  • 1 12–14 lb. turkey, neck, and giblets removed

  • 2 tbsp. whole black peppercorns

  • 2 tbsp. whole pink or black peppercorns

  • 1/4 cup plus 11/2 tsp. Morton kosher salt

  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder

  • 2 tbsp. onion powder

  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika

  • 1 tbsp. plus 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar

  • A small handful of hardy herbs (such as sage, rosemary, bay leaves, and/or thyme)

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 2x1" strips orange zest

  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

  • 6 tbsp. neutral oil (such as vegetable, peanut, or canola)


  • Place turkey, breast side up, on a cutting board and pat dry. Grip a wing and pull it outward so you can see where it attaches to the body. Using a sharp boning or chef’s knife, cut through the joint to separate the wing from the breast (if you hit bone, you’re in the wrong spot; pull the wing out farther to help you get into the place where the joint meets the socket). Remove wing; repeat on the other side.

  • Cut through skin connecting 1 leg to the carcass. Pull leg back until the ball joint pops out of its socket; cut through the joint to separate the leg. Repeat on the other side.

  • Now for the breast: Position the turkey breast side down with the opening facing you. Using kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone until you get all the way through the neck end, then turn the turkey 180° and cut through the other side to remove the backbone (save it for making stock).

  • Very finely ground black and pink peppercorns in a spice mill or mortar and pestle; transfer to a medium bowl. Add salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and 1 tbsp. brown sugar and use your fingers to mix together.

  • Place turkey pieces, skin side up, on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle salt mixture liberally all over the turkey, patting to adhere. You may not need all of it, but it’s good to have extra since some will end up on the baking sheet. Chill bird, uncovered, at least 24 hours and up to 2 days.

  • Remove turkey from the 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.

  • Meanwhile, cook herbs, garlic, orange zest, soy sauce, vinegar, and remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar 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.

  • Place a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 425°F (215°C). Rub turkey with oil and pour 1 cup water into the baking sheet. Roast turkey, rotating the 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°F/65°C, and 170°F/76°C (when inserted into the thickest part of the thighs, 50–70 minutes longer (total cooking time will be 1–1½ hours). The 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.

Excellent taste, juicy, not requiring much attention when baking. I recommend it with excellent additions in the form of sweet potatoes with pineapple and walnuts on top, or mashed potatoes with butter and cream and a small addition of creamy cheese.
A cranberry? In my opinion, the best would be (black cherry) jelly with the addition of chopped fresh cranberries and pieces of canned peaches (must be a lot of fruits). Please do not add nuts to jelly, they change the taste.


  • 1 turkey ham (i.e. turkey breast) weighing about 1- 1 1/2 kilograms (2-3 pounds)

  • 15 dried plums (the best from California)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1 can of frozen, condensed orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil


Finally, I bake such turkey hams for the holiday table. There were no people willing to play with cubes, and the dog stopped looting under the table ...

I admit that this ham is very popular, not because of turkey meat, but because of the addition of ... plum and orange sauce. I urge you to try it, the more that baking and preparing, or rather cooking the sauce does not cause any difficulties, and tastes great.

For this, I usually serve mashed sweet potato, with the addition of canned pineapple (without juice) and a few pecans on the top. They are not so sweet (not everyone likes sweet potatoes with sugar). I do not mix nuts with sweet potatoes to avoid bitterness. Of course, there must also be cranberry and pear sauce ! It's from my Mom recipe!


  • Thaw orange juice (do not open the can).

  • Dried plums pour orange juice (for half an hour).

  • Defrost the turkey (if it was frozen), sprinkle with salt and pepper on all sides, "paint" with vegetable oil.

  • Preheat the oven to 380°F (190°C).

  • Pour orange juice into a deep baking tray or ovenproof dish, put in the prepared turkey ham and wrap with prunes. Cover with foil and put in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, pouring the resulting sauce every 20 minutes. Halfway through roasting, turn the meat over so that the bottom does bake, not cook.

  • Turn off the oven, remove the foil lid and leave the turkey to brown for 15 minutes.

  • Take out the turkey, transfer to a vessel where its temperature will be maintained. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting (for serving hot)

  • Pour the sauce into a small saucepan. If the plums did not overcook in the sauce, and the sauce did not turn dark brown, cook the sauce on low heat until a fairly thick, dark consistency. Alternatively, season with salt, but I don't think it's necessary.

  • Cut the turkey into thicker slices, place on a platter, pour the sauce lightly (or do not pour at all, leave it to revelers); Serve the remaining sauce in a separate dish.


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