General Tso's Whole Turkey Recipe -
General Tso's Whole Turkey Recipe
  • READY IN 12+ hrs

General Tso's Whole Turkey

Recipe by  

"A Chinese take on the holiday roast turkey. The sauce is a sweet and spicy flavorful glaze on the crispy skin of the turkey with a hint of orange and cranberry. The whole red peppers with green onions on the side add a festive touch. The dressing is a savory rice dressing with cranberries and nuts. Sure to become a year-round favorite. Garnish with whole dried red peppers and green onions along the side."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 whole turkey Change Servings
  • PREP

    1 hr
  • COOK

    3 hrs 30 mins

    12 hrs 30 mins


  1. Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Toast dried red chiles in the hot oil until they turn dark red, about 2 minutes. Toss black pepper, 2 chopped green onions, light sesame oil, and 1 small chopped shallot into the hot oil; remove from heat.
  2. Blend cranberry sauce, turkey broth, soy sauce, orange juice, white vinegar, plum wine, ginger, garlic, and orange zest in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Stir toasted red pepper mixture into glaze. Divide glaze in half.
  3. Place turkey into a large basting bag and pour half the glaze over the turkey and into the cavity. Seal the bag and refrigerate turkey overnight.
  4. Dissolve cornstarch in the remaining half of the glaze and refrigerate in a covered container.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  6. Remove turkey from marinade; discard the used marinade. Set turkey onto a rack inside a roasting pan.
  7. Mix white rice, wild rice, dried cranberries, walnuts, 2 small chopped green onions, 1 chopped shallot, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a bowl. Lightly stuff the turkey cavity with the rice mixture. Combine 1/3 cup vegetable oil with 1/3 cup sesame oil in a bowl and set aside.
  8. Roast turkey in the preheated oven, basting with vegetable and sesame oil mixture every 15 minutes, until skin is browned and crisp, about 2 hours. Stir reserved glaze containing cornstarch thoroughly and baste turkey every 15 minutes until glaze has baked onto turkey and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reads 165 degrees F (75 degrees C), 1 1/2 to 2 more hours.
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  • Cook's Notes:
  • This recipe also lends itself well to whole chicken.
  • General Tso (Zuo Zongtang, 1812-1885) was a military leader during the Qing dynasty. The spiciness of this dish is sure to release your inner warrior!

Reviews More Reviews

Dec 14, 2012

My review is for the glaze alone as I did not make the dressing. I followed the ingredients exactly and used home made cranberry sauce. It was very tasty but did lack a bit of heat I was looking for. Will be making this again as I overlooked the orange zest and missed the *hint* of orange it would have added. I will also add some crushed red pepper to up the heat factor. I served over rice with fresh steamed broccoli. Whole family enjoyed it.

Jan 27, 2014

Okay, so this girl made this recipe (without the dressing) with a whole chicken. I rapid roasted (450 1/2hr, then 400 1 1/2hrs) then reduced to 350 & basted with sauce. I just put olive oil on it at first & didn't do anything else, including the marinade part or even the cooking bag. Since it was a chicken, not a turkey, I halved the recipe. I forgot the sugar, but it wasn't in need of it. I subbed moscato for the plum wine. (A great suggestion from Manella was to sub plum jam & apple juice, which I didn't have.) I didn't get to taste this "fresh," but leftovers were pretty good. The sauce could definitely be spicier, but that's easily fixed. I subbed half t ground ginger for fresh just because I didn't want to "deal with" fresh. :o :D 'Had to make another half recipe sauce the next day. 'Didn't have the cranberry sauce & didn't blend it, just thickened. Added 1/4c more wine & 1T sugar to replace the sauce. Not "wow," but good.


3 Ratings

Mar 22, 2013

Considering I marinated the turkey for 24 hours, including rubbing it under the skin, very little of the flavor actually got into the meat. While we enjoyed this well enough it didn't really remind of General Tso's as I know it. I didn't make the stuffing.


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  • Calories
  • 802 kcal
  • 40%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 23.1 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 212 mg
  • 71%
  • Fat
  • 43.6 g
  • 67%
  • Fiber
  • 1 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 74.5 g
  • 149%
  • Sodium
  • 685 mg
  • 27%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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