Friday, December 30, 2011

Asian-Inspired Roast Turkey

For Shindig, I decided to roast a whole turkey since whole roasted turkeys are rare in Singapore. In Singapore, smoked turkeys are more common, so I wanted to have my brother and his guests try in something seasonal on this side of the world.

It was the first time I roasted a turkey and it took four hours! I'm not excited to see my gas bill, or electric bill this month at all. I'm sure it is sky high. The funny thing about my turkey is that I added an Asian influence to it, to suit my Shindig menu. The funnier thing is that I have no idea how to carve a turkey (and I asked Jas since he had seen more turkey carvings in his life than mine, but he didn't dare to do anything to it either) and so I just hacked it up Hainanese chicken rice style.

Our 15lb turkey gave us three full plates of meat. Only one plate was polished off at the party, but my brother and his friends polished off the other two plates the next night. I'm guessing that the turkey tastes pretty good :)

  • 1 whole turkey
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground lemongrass

turkey rub

  • Brine the turkey in the brining solution overnight, two nights before 'turkey day'.
  • The next day, remove the turkey from the brine, and rub the turkey with the turkey rub, both inside and out. 
  • Stand the turkey up on a turkey stand (we used a chicken stand) and let the turkey chill in the fridge overnight.
  • On 'turkey day', set the oven temperature to 325F, and put the turkey in the oven at the times stated below, based on the weight of the turkey. If stuffing is desired, stuff the turkey, then put it in the oven. [My turkey was 15lbs, and I left it in the oven for 4 hours - perfect!] Alternatively, stick a cooking thermometer in the thigh (not breast!) of the bird, and the temperature should be 180F.
  • If the turkey gets too dark, cover it with aluminium foil.
  • Let the turkey stand for 10-15mins before cutting into it.

Unstuffed Turkey cooking times
  • 8 to 12 lbs - 2 3/4 to 3 hrs
  • 12 to 14 lbs - 3 to 3 3/4 hrs
  • 14 to 18 lbs - 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hrs
  • 18 to 20 lbs - 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 hrs
  • 20 to 24 lbs - 4 1/2 to 5 hrs

Stuffed Turkey cooking times
  • 8 to 12 lbs - 3 to 3 1/2 hrs
  • 12 to 14 lbs - 3 1/2 to 4 hrs
  • 14 to 18 lbs - 4 to 4 1/4 hrs
  • 18 to 20 lbs - 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hrs
  • 20 to 24 lbs - 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hrs

turkey comes out of the oven

one turkey - three full plates

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