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Quartered, Spiced & Glazed Turkey

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 1 day 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 169kcal
Author: Bon Appétit Magazine, Nov. 2019, with changes made by K2.0
Tired of wrestling with a huge turkey on Thanksgiving Day? This fool-proof method will provide a delicious meal with very little effort!
Print Recipe


  • Mortar and pestle or a spice mill
  • Wire rack set inside a large baking sheet.
  • Instant-read meat thermometer


  • 2.5 lbs. turkey breast
  • 2 Tbsp whole, black peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp whole, pink peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 strips fresh orange peel
  • 1/4 Cup liquid coconut aminos
  • 1/3 Cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil


  • Have a butcher cut a 12-13 pound turkey into 5 pieces: the legs, the wings; keep the breast whole, but remove the backbone. (Save for soup or stock.)
  • Prepare the spices by first crushing the whole peppercorns with a mortar and pestle, and add them to a medium bowl. Add garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and 1 Tbsp brown sugar, and stir to mix well.
  • Place the turkey pieces, skin side up, on a wire rack inside a large baking sheet. Sprinkle the spice mixture all over the turkey, patting on it to make sure it adheres. Then chill the bird, uncovered, at least 24 hours, and up to 2 days.
  • Remove turkey from wire rack and rinse baking sheet, as turkey may have released some liquid. Line baking sheet with 3 layers of foil for easy clean-up and set rack back inside.
  • Arrange turkey pieces on rack, skin side up, and let come to room temperature for 2-3 hours in order to decrease cooking time.
  • Meanwhile, cook herbs, garlic, orange peel, soy sauce, vinegar, and remaining 1/4C brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and glaze thickens slightly. (It should just barely coat a spoon.)
  • Place a rack in the middle of the oven, preheat to 425º.
  • Rub turkey with oil, and pour 1 Cup of water into the baking sheet. Place sheet in oven and roast for 10 minutes.
  • Rotate the sheet pan 180º and roast another 15 minutes. The skin should be golden brown.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 300º and continue to roast the turkey, but brush on glaze every 20 minutes, (set a timer) and add water to sheet pan by 1/2 cup to maintain some liquid in the sheet pan.
    Cooking time will be between 1 - 1.5 hours. An instant read thermometer should register 150º when inserted into the thickest part of the breast, and 170º when inserted into the thickest part of the thighs. Skin should be a deep golden brown and shiny.
  • Transfer turkey to a cutting board; tent loosely with foil. Let turkey rest 30-60 minutes before cutting.


Note: Your cell phone is your best friend for this process. The glaze needs to be applied every 20 minutes, so set (and reset) your phone's timer and just keep the phone in your pocket, on silent, w/ vibration. That way you can visit with your Thanksgiving guests, and not forget to tend to the bird!


Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 385mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 428IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg