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CHINESE TURKEY WITH EIGHT-TREASURE STUFFING
Adapted from Chinese Cuisine by Susanna Foo (Chapters, 1995)
Total time: 3 1/2 hours, plus marinating and soaking time
1 turkey, about 12 pounds
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon crushed roasted Sichuan peppercorns
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup corn oil1/4 cup brandy
3 scallions, cut into 1-inch sticks
1 2-inch piece of ginger, sliced thin
2 cups long-grain glutinous rice
6 cups water
6 shallots, chopped
8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup diced water chestnuts or 1 cup peeled and diced jicama
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup peeled and cooked chestnuts, sliced
1/2 cup diced smoked ham or turkey
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste.
1. Rub the turkey with the coarse salt and peppercorns.
2. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, 1/4 cup of the corn oil, brandy, scallions and ginger, and mix well. Place the turkey in a roasting pan, and pour the marinade over it, rubbing the liquid into the cavity. Allow to marinate, covered in the refrigerator, for several hours or overnight.
3. Place the rice in a bowl. Cover with the water, and let soak for 4 hours. Drain.
4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
5. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup of the oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots, and cook over high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add the rice, and stir until it is well coated with the oil. Pour in the stock, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir. The rice will be almost, but not completely, cooked.
6. Transfer the rice mixture to a large bowl. Add the water chestnuts or jicama, chopped apricots, chestnuts and smoked ham or turkey, and stir until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and mix again.
7. Cover the turkey with foil, and bake for 2 hours, basting occasionally with the marinade and juices in the bottom of the pan. Remove the foil, and continue cooking for another hour or until a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the thigh reads 180 to 185 degrees.
8. Place the stuffing in a greased casserole, and brush with 4 tablespoons of the marinade and turkey juices. Bake, covered, alongside the turkey for the last 45 minutes of its cooking time.
Yield: 12 servings
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 660 calories, 30 grams fat, 150 milligrams cholesterol, 870 milligrams sodium, 55 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrate.