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Get your hands on Marion’s LATEST cookbook, Just As Delicious. Order Now

Hoisin & Bacon Butter Turkey

When it’s holiday season, nothing says celebration more than a roast turkey. My version is soft, tender and juicy with a gorgeous glaze, and the secret lies in the dry brining stage. You’ll need to plan ahead three days, but it’ll be worth it – and using dry ingredients saves you valuable fridge space, too!




10 minutes + 3 days

2 hours 45 minutes + resting time


3.5kg (8 lb) turkey, neck discarded, rinsed, patted dry

4 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp Chinese 5-Spice (try my ultimate Chinese 5-Spice recipe)

200g (7 oz) unsalted butter

100g (3.5 oz) bacon, diced

Hoisin glaze:

½ cup hoisin sauce

1 tbsp dark sweet soy sauce (e.g. kecap manis)

2 tsp sesame oil

Step 1

Place your turkey on a large plate or tray. Combine the salt, sesame oil and the Chinese 5-spice in a small bowl. Rub the salt mixture all over the turkey as well as between the skin and the turkey breast meat. Cover with foil and set aside in the fridge for 3 days to allow the salt to ‘brine’ the turkey meat.

Step 2

In the meantime, make the bacon butter by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and gently simmer for 4-5 minutes. Strain the butter and keep the bacon for another dish. Pour the butter into a dish or tray lined with cling film. Freeze until firm.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.

Step 4

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the hoisin glaze. Place the turkey on a roasting rack set over a roasting tray lined with foil. Using a pastry brush, apply one-third of the glaze to the turkey skin. Cover with baking paper and then cover with foil. Roast the turkey for 1 hour, then baste with half of the remaining glaze.

Step 5

Lower the oven temperature to 150°C/300°F.

Place the turkey back in the oven and roast for another hour before using the remaining glaze to baste. This time, place the turkey back in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes or until cooked through (internal temperature when a thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the turkey thigh should be 165°F/73°C). Allow the turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.

Note Icon


– Try this with my Make-Ahead 5-Spice Gravy

– Internal temperatures actually rise slightly while meats/poultry are resting so you can take the turkey out of the oven just before it hits the exact temperature.

– To calculate cooking times for different sizes of turkey, head here: www.foodsafety.gov

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