Beauty shot of Molly Yeh's Five-Spice Turkey with Sweet and Sour Glaze as seen on Girl Meets Farm, Season 11.
Recipe courtesy of Molly Yeh

Five-Spice Turkey with Sweet and Sour Glaze

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 16 hr 30 min (includes brining and resting times)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
This recipe is inspired by the warm Chinese flavors Molly remembers her grandmother infusing into the steamed buns she would make for her and her sister when she was younger. It’s a fun way of mixing up your traditional Thanksgiving turkey basted with a bulbous baster and giving it a beautiful sweet and sour shine!





  1. For the turkey: In a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar and 2 teaspoons of the five-spice powder. Stir to fully combine. Sprinkle about a quarter of the sugar-spice mixture in the cavity of the turkey and rub the rest all over the exterior. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
  2. Remove the turkey from the fridge 1 hour before roasting.
  3. Arrange an oven rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon five-spice powder. Set aside to cool.
  5. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the thyme, bay leaves, mandarins, onion and ginger. Brush the turkey all over with the cooled butter mixture. Pour 2 cups of the chicken broth into the pan.
  6. Roast the turkey until it reaches 145 to 150 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer inserted in the deepest part between the leg and breast, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  7. While the turkey is roasting, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the ketchup, jam, pineapple juice, cider vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, five spice and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cooking until thick and syrupy, 3 to 5 minutes. You should have about 1 cup glaze. Remove half of the glaze and set aside for serving.
  8. Once the turkey reaches 145 to 150 degrees F, add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth into the roasting pan. Then brush the turkey all over with the remaining half of the glaze. Return to the oven and continue to roast (tenting with foil towards the end if it is getting too brown), brushing the turkey with the remaining glaze halfway through, until the turkey is deeply glazed and reads 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 45 minutes more.
  9. Remove the turkey to a cutting board to rest for 30 minutes. Season with flaky salt. Pour the pan juices into a large measuring cup and skim the fat from the top. Stir the defatted juices into the reserved half of the glaze to make a sauce; keep warm.
  10. To carve, cut down through the breasts, along the breastbone, to remove. Slice both breasts crosswise into thick slices. Cut through the skin attaching each leg and pull slightly to open up the space, then follow the natural curve of the leg to remove the leg/thigh in one piece. Cut at the joint to separate the leg from the thigh. Remove the thigh bones and cut the thighs into 2 or 3 pieces each. Cut off the wings.
  11. Serve the drumsticks and wings whole on a platter with the sliced meat, decorating the platter with the mandarins, cilantro and scallions. Serve the sauce on the side for drizzling.