Chinese Roast Turkey

Holiday 2008
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food and drink

BY: Lucy Waverman

The Chinese do not normally eat turkey but they would probably love this dish. If you have your butcher de-bone your turkey for you, ask them to keep the bones so you can make the sauce. Basically you are butterflying the bird and re forming it. Chinese sausages are available in Chinatown but if unavailable, omit. They have a slightly sweetish taste so if they are available, add an extra pinch of sugar to the rice mixture.

4 cups (1 L) sticky rice
10 dried shitake mushrooms

Sauce
Turkey bones
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
½ cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped onions
½ cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped carrots
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
1 cup (250 mL) red wine
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
Mushroom soaking juice

Stuffing
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
3 Chinese sausages, diced
1½ cups (375 mL) diced carrot
2 cups (500 mL) diced onion
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped ginger
⅓ cup (75 mL) light soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) 5-spice powder
1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
Salt to taste
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped coriander

Marinade
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
2 tbsp (25 mL) minced shallots
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped garlic
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped ginger
1 tbsp (15 mL) oyster sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) honey
2 tbsp (25 mL) light soy sauce
Salt and pepper
One 12 lb (5.5 kg) turkey, butterflied, breastbones and backbones removed

1. Rinse rice. Bring 3½ cups (875 mL) water to boil over high heat and sprinkle in rice. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and remove from heat. Spread on a cookie sheet to cool. The rice should be slightly al dente.

2. Cover dried mushrooms with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes or until softened. Drain mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid for sauce. Trim and discard stems and dice.

3. Place turkey bones, onions, carrots, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, red wine, chicken stock and mushroom soaking liquid in a sauté pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Remove from heat and strain. Reserve.

4. Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Add sausages, mushrooms, carrots, onions and ginger and sauté for 4 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat, transfer to a large mixing bowl, add rice and stir to combine. Season with light soy sauce, sugar, 5-spice powder, sesame oil and salt to taste. Stir in coriander and reserve.

5. For the marinade, combine vegetable oil, shallots, garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, honey and soy sauce in a mini-chop. Process until everything is combined. Brush inside and outside of turkey with marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate for 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

6. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).

7. Place turkey breast-side down and flat. Stuff with 5 to 6 cups (1.25 to 1.50 L) rice stuffing so that it is plump, reserving any extra stuffing to serve on the side. Bring sides together and skewer or sew together so that the stuffing doesn’t fall out. You can place any remaining stuffing in an oiled baking dish and place in the oven for the last 30 minutes of roasting.

8. Tie turkey around the legs and wings so that it looks like it still has its bones. Place turkey on an oiled rack over a roasting pan breast-side up. Place rack in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, then turn oven down to 375ºF (190ºC) and roast for 30 minutes longer. Drape a piece of foil over turkey to keep skin from burning and roast for 1 hour longer or until turkey is crisp and juices run clear. An instant read thermometer should read 165ºF (73ºC).

9. Remove turkey to carving board and pour off fat. Add stock into pan and bring to boil. Boil down until reduced by about half and sauce is full of flavour.

10. Allow turkey to rest for 10 minutes then cut in half lengthwise and into pieces. Serve with sauce.

Serves 8 to 10