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Peking Turkey

Photo: John Cullen; Stylng: Martine Blackhurst

Servings: 6 to 8


Purchase your turkey breast from your local butcher, and ask butcher to debone turkey, keeping the breasts intact and attached. Save remaining bits for soup.

2 whole large turkey breasts, skin on (about 7 pounds total)

Brine bath

1 white onion, chopped

1 cup cilantro, chopped

1½ cups celery, chopped

2 tablespoons five spice mix

3 tablespoons salt

Rinse turkey breast. In a large bowl, add chopped ingredients and one cup of water. Mix ingredients until spices are combined. Set turkey in bowl and cover with cold water. Place turkey in the refrigerator and let rest for 8 to 10 hours.

Mandarin and cranberry stuffing

2 small yellow onions, finely chopped

4 celery stalks, finely diced

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons honey

1 can mandarin oranges

2 tablespoons mandarin juice

2 cups whole-wheat bread cut in small cubes

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper

Hoisin roasting sauce

4 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons honey


Rinse turkey breast. Add all brine-bath ingredients to bowl and set turkey in it. Cover with cold water. Let rest in brine bath in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours.

To make the hoisin roasting sauce, mix ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve until ready to roast turkey.

In a large pan, sauté onion, celery and cranberries in the butter. Cook until cranberries are soft and starting to break down. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Remove turkey breasts from brine bath and pat dry. Place on a large working surface, skin side down, and butterfly meat.

Spread stuffing on top and roll the turkey around the stuffing.

Wrap kitchen twine around turkey and tie tightly.

Set your oven rack in the centre of your oven. Set stuffed turkey in a large roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees or until internal temperature of the turkey breast is 165 degrees F, about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove and brush turkey with hoisin sauce mixture. Return to oven and roast for another 30 min until golden. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes, then snip off kitchen twine. Slice the turkey and arrange decoratively on serving platter.

Pour pan juices over the slices and serve.

Editor’s Note: Clarifications have been made to this recipe.

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