By Eunice Quek and Kenneth Goh, The Straits Times
From adding five spices to braising your turkey, be prepared for a party on your tastebuds.
By executive chef Harry Lew, 33, of Peony Jade, a Chinese restaurant at Keppel Club. Serves 10 to 12 INGREDIENTS For the rice 1 fresh coconut 200g pandan leaves, rinsed 500ml water 500g white rice 50g salt For the sambal 3 pieces thumb-size turmeric, skin removed, chopped into chunks 200g shallots, peeled 100g dried red chillies, stems removed and soaked in hot water until soft 60g belacan paste 200ml peanut oil 200g sugar 1 tbsp salt For the turkey 1 turkey (about 5kg), thawed and rinsed 3 Tbs salt 3 Tbs white pepper 300ml vinegar 200ml honey 500ml water 300g long beans DIRECTIONS 1. For the rice: Pour coconut water out of fresh coconut into a bowl. Grate the coconut flesh and place into the coconut water. 2. Pour the grated coconut and water into a clean muslin bag and squeeze out the coconut cream. Set aside the coconut cream and the grated coconut in separate bowls. 3. Process the pandan leaves and water in a blender. Pour the pandan liquid into a clean muslin bag and squeeze out the pandan water. 4. Wash the rice, place in a rice cooker and add the coconut milk, pandan water and salt. Cook for 30 minutes. 5. For the sambal: Process the turmeric, shallots, dried chillies and belacan in a blender. 6. Heat peanut oil in wok and fry the spice paste for about 25 minutes until it becomes a rich, dark red. 7. Add sugar and salt to taste and set aside in a dish to cool. 8. For the turkey: Rub the turkey with salt and pepper, including inside the cavity. Set aside for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. 9. Rub one-third of the cooled sambal onto the turkey. Set aside for one hour in the refrigerator. 10. Bring water to boil in a pot large enough to hold the turkey. Add the turkey and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. 11. Remove from the water and place onto a roasting pan, breast side up. Stuff the grated coconut from step 2 into the cavity of the bird. Rub another third of the sambal onto the turkey. 12. In a pot, bring the vinegar, honey and water to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the turkey to glaze it. 13. Leave the turkey to dry for three hours before roasting. 14. Preheat the oven to its maximum heat setting. Once it hits maximum heat, bring the temperature down to 180 deg C. Place the turkey in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes, or until the red tab attached to it pops out. A meat thermometer inserted into a thigh should register about 180 deg C. 15. For the long beans: Fry the long beans in the remaining sambal over high heat for about five minutes. 16. When the turkey is cooked, remove from the oven and garnish with the long beans. 17. Serve the turkey with sliced cucumber, ikan bilis, peanuts and the pandan rice. By Le Bistrot du Sommelier's chef-owner Brandon Foo Serves 30 INGREDIENTS For the turkey 16g sodium nitrite (nitrite salt), from Le Bistrot du Sommelier 10g salt 4g ground white peppercorns 2kg roast turkey meat, cubed 2.8kg duck fat, from Huber's Butchery in Dempsey Road 1.5kg onion, peeled and sliced 150g garlic, peeled and roughly chopped 5g ground white pepper For the bouquet garni 2 bay leaves 25g thyme 25g rosemary 25g sage 1 stalk green celery 50g parsley stem 1 to 2 leek leaves DIRECTIONS 1. Marinate the sodium nitrite, salt and white peppercorns onto turkey meat. Leave overnight in the refrigerator. 2. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 110 deg C. 3. In a large oven-proof pot/tray, heat 300g duck fat and fry the onions and garlic for 10 to 15 minutes until the onions turn translucent. Stir in the turkey meat, 2.5kg duck fat and white pepper. 4. Tie the ingredients for the bouquet garni together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Place the pot in the oven and leave to slow-cook for 21/2 hours, then remove and place on a heat-proof surface. 5. Use a ladle to scoop off the fat floating on top of the turkey jus. Set aside. Strain the meat from the jus and set the jus aside. 6. Place the meat in a deep dish or pot and shred it with a fork or wooden spoon. Pour the jus on the meat till it just covers it and spoon the fat over to ensure the meat is moist. 7. Place the dish in the refrigerator for at least one week before serving. 8. To serve: spread the rillettes on bread and serve with gherkins or other charcuterie. The rillettes can keep for up to one month in the refrigerator. Serves 10 By Daniel Tay, founder of online cheesecake shop Cat & the Fiddle INGREDIENTS 1kg chestnuts, shelled and rinsed 5kg turkey, thawed 300g sea salt 3g five-spice powder 70g galangal 20g cinnamon sticks 100g sugar 100ml vegetable oil 160g garlic cloves 5g star anise 15g dried chillies 2g cloves 6g bay leaves 3g dried orange peel 600ml dark soya sauce 600ml light soya sauce 1.2 litres water 10 eggs 6 pieces of tau kwa (firm beancurd) DIRECTIONS 1. In a pot set over high heat, boil chestnuts in water for about 15 to 20 minutes, then strain and set aside. 2. Remove turkey from bag and remove the giblets and liver. Rinse the bird under running water. Pat it inside and outside with paper towels and transfer it onto a large plate. Rub the sea salt all over it and let it rest at room temperature for three hours. Then rinse away the salt under running water and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. 3. Rub five-spice powder all over the turkey and set aside. 4. Flatten 20g of galangal with the back of a knife. Place it, together with 150g of the chestnuts and half the cinnamon sticks, in the cavity of the turkey. Set aside. 5. In a large pot set over low heat, add sugar and vegetable oil and stir continuously for five minutes until the sugar caramelises and the mixture turns brown. Add garlic, star anise, dried chillies, cloves, bay leaves, dried orange peel, remaining galangal and cinnamon sticks, dark soya sauce and light soya sauce into the pot. 6. Add 1.2 litres of water into the pot and bring it to a boil. Immerse the turkey in the pot and let it simmer over low heat for 11/2 hours. Check the bird once every 15 minutes to ensure it stays submerged, adding water if needed. 7. To check if the turkey is cooked, insert a meat thermometer into the breast area. It should register about 80 deg C. Turn off the heat and let it sit in the broth overnight. 8. Lift the turkey from the pot and transfer it onto a serving platter. 9. Place the eggs in boiling water and cook for seven minutes before transferring into a container of ice-cold water for five minutes. Peel the eggs and soak them in a bowl of braising liquid for five hours. Boil the tau kwa, then let soak in braising liquid for two to three hours. 10. Slice the eggs and tau kwa and serve with the turkey and remaining boiled chestnuts. By Ms Tan Meiwen, research and development team at Swiss Butchery and a food consultant with Jones The Grocer. Serves four to six INGREDIENTS 350g glutinous rice 8 fresh chestnuts, peeled 1 head garlic 5 tbsp olive oil 3 shallots 5kg turkey, thawed 250g and 2 tsp salt 2 litres water 3 cinnamon sticks 2 tbsp cloves 2 tbsp fennel seeds 2 tbsp star anise 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns 3 tbsp five-spice powder 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil For the giblet sauce Turkey giblets 500ml reduced sodium chicken broth Turkey drippings 1 tbsp plain flour DIRECTIONS 1. Soak glutinous rice in water for a day. Drain and cook in a steamer. 2. Steam chestnuts until soft, then chop. 3. Preheat oven to 200 deg C, bake the garlic on a tray for 30 minutes. Take out from the oven, remove the skin and mash the cloves with the back of a spoon. 4. In a wok set over high heat, add olive oil and fry shallots till they turn golden brown. Drain the oil into a bowl. Set aside the fried shallots. 5. Add the shallot oil into a clean wok and fry the mashed garlic and chestnuts in it for two minutes. Add glutinous rice and fried shallots to the wok and stir-fry all the ingredients till they are well-mixed, about five minutes. Set aside. 6. Remove turkey from bag and remove its bag of giblets and liver. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Place it in a huge resealable plastic bag. 7. In a mixing bowl, stir 250g salt in 2 litres of water gradually. In a 200 deg C oven, bake cinnamon sticks, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns for 10 minutes. Add the spices to the salt water and pour the mixture into the plastic bag containing the turkey. Seal the plastic bag and place in the chiller for 24 hours. 8. Preheat oven to 160 deg C. 9. In a bowl, mix five-spice powder, 2 tsp salt and olive oil until a paste is formed. Take turkey out of the brine solution after 24 hours and wipe dry with kitchen towels. Rub spice paste all over turkey and in its cavity. 10. Mould the cooked glutinous rice into small rolls and stuff them inside the turkey. Close the cavity by inserting a skewer across it. 11. Place turkey on a baking tray breast side up and roast for 11/2 hours. Take out of the oven and cover loosely with aluminium foil and continue roasting for another hour. Remove the bird and transfer it to a wire rack and let rest for 15 minutes. 12. To make giblet sauce: Boil the turkey giblets that come with the bird in chicken broth for 10 minutes. Chop the giblets into small pieces. Reserve the broth. 13. Set the roasting pan, which contains the turkey drippings, over high heat. Add the broth to the pan and stir the mixture continuously till it comes to a boil. 14. Reduce the heat to medium, add flour slowly to the pan and stir the sauce until it thickens. Add chopped giblets and serve with the turkey. Serves 10 By Philip Chia, Peranakan chef and food consultant INGREDIENTS For the rempah 300g shallots, peeled 8 candlenuts 2 to 3 Tbs dried chilli paste, blended from 15 to 20 dried chillies soaked in hot water for an hour 50g galangal, sliced into 2mm-thick pieces 20g turmeric, sliced into 2mm-thick pieces 20g belacan paste 1 stalk lemongrass, use the lower-bulb portion, sliced to about 5cm in length 5 tbsp grapeseed oil 3 tbsp buah keluak paste (from Tekka Market) For the turkey 4.7kg turkey, thawed 3 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature 2 stalks celery, sliced into 1cm pieces 2 purple onions, peeled and cut into quarters 2 lemons, cut into quarters 200g streaky bacon For turkey gravy 200ml tamarind juice, from mixing water with 20g of tamarind paste 1 tsp sugar For buah keluak fried rice 750g basmati rice, washed and drained 2 tbsp olive oil 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 1 purple onion, peeled and chopped 500g shrimp, washed and peeled Buah keluak rempah 4 large eggs, beaten Sea salt to taste Kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced DIRECTIONS 1. For the rempah: Blend the shallots, candlenuts, dried chilli paste, sliced galangal, sliced turmeric, belacan paste and sliced lemongrass until they form a paste. 2. Pour grapeseed oil into a wok set over medium heat and add spice paste. Stir-fry it until it is dry and fragrant. Add buah keluak paste and stir-fry another three to four minutes. Set aside in a bowl. 3. For the turkey: Snip the bag containing the turkey, remove the plastic bag of giblets and liver in its cavity and discard. Rinse the turkey under running tap water. Place it in a colander to drain and let it sit for 30 minutes. 4. Pat dry the outside of turkey with paper towels. 5. In a mixing bowl, rub half the rempah and the salted butter until it becomes a clump. 6. Carefully separate the skin over the turkey breast from the meat. Stuff some of the marinade in between. Rub the mixture gently to distribute it evenly under the skin. 7. Wrap the turkey in clingfilm and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. 8. Before cooking, let the turkey sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. 9. Pre-heat a fan-forced oven to 200 deg C. 10. Stuff the chopped celery, onions and lemons into the cavity of the bird. Using kitchen string, tie the bottom of the drumsticks together. 11. Place the turkey on a roasting pan, breast side down. 12. Slide the tray into the bottom part of the oven and reduce the heat to 180 deg C. After 20 minutes, take the turkey out of the oven and turn it over. Drape eight strips of bacon over the turkey breast so they overlap. 13. Reduce the heat to 160 deg C and roast for an hour. Increase heat to 180 dec C and roast for another 30 minutes. By now, the turkey skin would have browned. 14. Take the turkey out of the oven and cover it with aluminium foil loosely. Increase the oven temperature to 200 deg C, return the covered bird to the oven and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes. To check if it is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the breast. If the juices run clear, it is cooked. If the juices run pink, roast for another 15 minutes. 15. Transfer the turkey on a large platter. Remove the bacon and snip and discard the string holding the drumsticks together. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes. 16. To make the gravy, collect the turkey drippings from the baking pan into a bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, add 1 Tbs of the rempah, tamarind juice, sugar and turkey drippings. Stir the mixture until it bubbles. Set aside. 17. For buah keluak fried rice: Cook the rice in a rice cooker and let it cool for three hours before frying. 18. In a wok over medium heat, add the olive oil, chopped garlic and onions and fry for two to three minutes. Add shrimp, the remaining rempah and the eggs and fry for two minutes. 19. Add the cooked basmati rice, sea salt and kaffir lime leaves and fry for five minutes. 20. Serve turkey with buah keluak fried rice topped with turkey gravy.
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