I bet 99% of you wouldnâ€™t have guessed that the Chinese Five Spice Powder that I made in the previous post was a critical requirement for this fabulous looking and tasting turkeyâ€¦ Yup, I have cooked this turkey recipe at least three times since I first saw it in the 2002 Thanksgiving Issue of Gourmet Magazine and their recipe is now, thankfully, on-line. It is extremely simple to do and results in a burnished, Copacabana-tanned skin that is incredibly appetizing, with the most flavorful of gravies. The fact that the recipe includes Damson Plum jam makes it a real keeper. It is a Marketman favorite. This 12 pound bird (donâ€™t you just hate it when they arenâ€™t 20-25 pounds at least â€“ I mean who really wants to cook a petite Turkey??!) took just 2 hours and 40 minutes to cook (stuffing cooked separately). As it was roasting, we made a couple of different types of stuffing. Throw in some baked sweet potatoes and perhaps one green vegetable dish and you have an â€œexpressâ€ Thanksgiving meal. If you are looking for a nice holiday meal this December, this is a definite option. Not much fuss, very little last minute preparation and impressive looking resultsâ€¦ Totally doable in Manila.
Turkey in general is a reasonably priced meat. For just over PHP1,000, a frozen (as opposed to fresh, which are noticeably better but a rarity in these partsâ€¦) turkey can be had at any of the major supermarkets. If you have the time and want to go that extra step, defrost the turkey in the fridge overnight, then stick it in a huge pot of cold water with 1 cup of dissolved rock salt and let it brine overnight in the fridge. Rinse the turkey off the next day and pat it dryâ€¦you are ready to proceed with the Gourmet Magazine recipe. Brining makes the meat more succulent and I brine chickens, turkeys and pork when I have the time. The 12 pound turkey should easily feed 8 guests. We used the leftovers in a turkey and ham soup that really hit the spot. Donâ€™t forget to throw the turkey carcass into the boiling broth as it has great flavor as well! As for the discussion over light vs. dark meatâ€¦I think U.S. commercially raised turkeys are like U.S. commercially raised chickensâ€¦more and more all of the meat is starting to taste the sameâ€¦