An inscrutably delicious, yet complex recipe, Chinese American Thanksgiving Turkey yields impeccable results worthy of great praise.

Chinese American Thanksgiving Turkey

Chinese American Thanksgiving Turkey
Recipe type: Poultry
Serves: 12
  • 3 Cups sweet rice (also known as glutinous)
  • 1 Cup dried black mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 3 Tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1/4 Cup shaoxing rice wine or dry Sherry
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/2 Cup finely-chopped green onions
  • 2 Tablespoons finely-chopped ginger root
  • chopped turkey giblets; heart, gizzard only
  • 1 pound Chinese pork sausage; chopped
  • 1/2 pound fresh or canned water chestnuts; peeled,
  • and coarsely chopped
  • 3 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Turkey:
  • 12 pounds turkey (to 14 pounds)
  • 2 Tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Kosher salt
  1. Stuffing: Put rice in large bowl, cover with cold water and soak overnight. Drain thoroughly.
  2. Soak mushrooms in warm water 20 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess liquid. Remove and discard stems. Coarsely chop caps. Combine ground pork with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice wine, sesame oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside 20 minutes.
  3. Heat wok or large skillet over high heat until hot. Swirl in peanut oil. When it is very hot and smoking slightly, add green onions and ginger and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add pork mixture and turkey giblets and stir-fry 3 minutes, breaking up pork. Add mushrooms, Chinese sausage, rice and water chestnuts and continue to stir-fry until thoroughly mixed, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and remaining 3 tablespoons rice wine and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool thoroughly.
  4. Turkey: Carefully separate skin of turkey breast from meat with hands. Rub skin with sesame oil. Mix salt and pepper and rub evenly over turkey. Set aside. (This may be done a day ahead. Cover turkey with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
  5. Insert thin layer of stuffing between turkey breast and skin. Loosely fill turkey cavity with stuffing and close with skewer. (Spoon any remaining stuffing into baking dish and steam 40 minutes before serving). Place turkey on deep heat-proof platter on rack in large roasting pan or turkey roaster. Add enough hot water to pan or roaster to come to 1 1/2 inches beneath rack. Cover pan tightly with lid or foil. Bring water to simmer, reduce heat to low and gently steam until thigh juices run clear when pricked with fork or tip of knife, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Replenish steaming water as needed.
  6. Remove turkey from platter, reserving any juices that may have collected. Discard steaming water. Place steamed turkey on rack in roasting pan and roast at 350 degrees 25 minutes. Increase temperature to 450 degrees and roast until turkey is golden brown and instant--read thermometer inserted in thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees, about 15 minutes. Remove turkey from oven and let rest 20 minutes before carving. Serve carved turkey and stuffing with sauce.
  7. Sauce: While turkey is roasting, combine chicken stock and reserved turkey juices in saucepan. Bring mixture to boil and reduce by half. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
NOTES: Recipe from "Easy Family Recipes From a Chinese-American Childhood" by Ken Hom (Knopf, $27.50)

This recipe yields 10 to 12 servings.

Each of 12 servings: 848 calories; 1,056 mg sodium; 286 mg cholesterol; 33 grams fat; 47 grams carbohydrates; 83 grams protein; 0.39 gram fiber

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