The Washington Post

Tamarind and Honey-Glazed Roast Turkey

Tamarind and Honey-Glazed Roast Turkey 6.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky/The Washington Post

Nov 22, 2019

Tamarind, a prominent flavor in Senegal, becomes a leading flavor in this irresistible Thanksgiving turkey glaze. Be sure to get “wet” fresh tamarind pulp, which comes packed in blocks and has seeds throughout, and not tamarind concentrate or syrup, as those are too sweet.

Make Ahead: The glaze may be made and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.

Where to Buy: Wet tamarind pulp can be found at Asian or Latin American markets or online.

6 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings

  • 6 ounces (170 grams) "wet" tamarind pulp, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) boiling water
  • 3/4 cup (255 grams) honey
  • 3 tablespoons Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce, or more as needed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • One (12-pound) turkey, dried thoroughly and at room temperature
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (480 milliliters) chicken stock, or more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water


Place the tamarind pulp in a small bowl and cover with 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) boiling water. Let stand for 10 minutes to soften. Using your fingers, break the tamarind apart and then let stand for an additional 5 minutes. Pour the tamarind through a fine sieve set over a medium bowl and use a rubber spatula or spoon to press the tamarind through the sieve, discarding the solids. Add the honey, fish sauce, garlic and chile to the tamarind liquid and stir into a smooth glaze; you should have about 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters). Taste, and add more fish sauce, if desired.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with the rack in the lower third.

Place the turkey on a rack set in a large roasting pan and season the cavity and outside liberally with salt and pepper. Pour the stock into the pan, insert a probe thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh (make sure it's not touching the bone), and roast the turkey until golden brown, about 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, cover the roasting pan with foil, and roast until the turkey reaches 130 degrees, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Uncover the turkey and roast, basting with 1/2 cup of the tamarind glaze every 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer reads 161 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes.

Transfer the turkey on its rack to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the pan juices into a small saucepan. If your pan juices have dried out in the oven, add 1 cup stock to the saucepan. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch with water, and then stir the cornstarch slurry into the pan juices. Place the pan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring, until thickened into a gravy, 2 to 5 minutes. Pour the gravy through a fine sieve into a bowl and serve alongside the turkey.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe in Saveur magazine.

Tested by Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving of turkey without gravy (based on 10): 550

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 25g 38%

Saturated Fat: 7g 35%

Cholesterol: 190mg 63%

Sodium: 940mg 39%

Total Carbohydrates: 35g 12%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 26g

Protein: 52g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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