21 Nov2007

This was a SUPERB Turkey recipe that we did LAST Thanksgiving. We are not doing a turkey this year so I thought I would simply re-post this entry for those of you who are crazed and hunting for a last minute recipe. This one has the tradition of an American turkey, but with the flavors of the Orient… This was one delicious turkey and the gravy was to die for… A HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL MARKETMANILA READERS WHO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY!!!


I bet 99% of you wouldn’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 turkey… Yturk4up, 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 (don’t you just hate it when they aren’t 20-25 pounds at least – 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 “express” 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 results… 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 parts…) turkey can be had at any of the major supermarkets. If you have the time and want to go that extra turk3step, 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 dry…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. Don’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 meat…I think U.S. commercially raised turkeys are like U.S. commercially raised chickens…more and more all of the meat is starting to taste the same…



  1. Nicole says:

    I have a question about brining – does it affect the taste of the meat? (Does it make it saltier, if that makes any sense? hehe).

    Nov 21, 2007 | 11:56 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    The brining makes the meat more juicy. I think it is a touch saltier, but I don’t think most folks would be able to tell if you didn’t say the bird was brined. Just rinse the turkey under cold running water when you have removed it from the brine. Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel and then continue with the rest of the recipe.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 3:06 pm

  4. Cindy says:

    Hi Marketman!I’ve tried brining shrimp and it turned out awesome! I’d like to try brining turkey but do you think i could practice with a whole chicken first? How much salt for say a 1.5 k chicken and how long should it brine? Also where can i buy plum sauce in manila?

    Got a tote and a t-shirt at S&R Fort last Sat. I think it’s wonderful what you and your family are doing. You can count on me to support future projects. God Bless your fammly and your crew.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 7:34 pm

  5. Marketman says:

    Cindy, you might try a 1.5 kilo chicken i a stainless steel pot, filled with water to cover the chicken. Add maybe half a cup of sea or rock salt and brine for say 6-8 hours, leaving it all in the fridge. You will need plum jam for this recipe. Try the larger groceries. Glad you were able to pass by S&R for a t-shirt and tote…the kids will appreciate your help!

    Nov 21, 2007 | 7:45 pm

  6. nina says:

    I haven’t tried preparing turkey ever. I wanna try this sometime…

    Nov 21, 2007 | 10:19 pm

  7. Ebba Myra says:

    I am still leary about this brining, afraid that it will be too salty, but I believe ya’ll. However, I am running out of time, and its Wed. noon here, haven’t bought the turkey, (hope to get a chilled/never frozen one); lunch has to be served at 12:00 noon Thursday. Tried soaking the bird in Dr. Pepper years ago, and it came out great. Dunno if I will do it again or brine. For sure for Christmas eve, I will try brining whole chicken.

    Nov 21, 2007 | 10:32 pm

  8. jr says:


    Brining a turkey makes the meat juicy. The membranes somehow takes more liquid rather than the salt. I brine a whole turkey overnight in 2 gallons of water with 1 lb of kosher salt, 1 lb of dark brown sugar, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme. Rinse, pat dry and use some cajun or creole seasoning. I usually deep fry the whole turkey in about 4 to 4 1/2 gallons of peanut oil. It takes longer to heat up the oil (about 55 minutes at 400F ). Three minutes per pound plus five minutes. Let it stand for about 30 minutes.

    Deep frying a turkey is dangerous and we do take a lot of precautions. There is always someone watching the fryer. We have an ABC extinguisher just in case. We use heavy duty gloves, goggles and no lose clothing. The whole process of cooking turkey this way is a science experiment every year.

    My daughter made a comment that it is a lot of work so we do it a least twice a year. The family loves it that way. Have a nice Thanksgiving.


    Nov 22, 2007 | 1:38 am

  9. miles says:

    Hi MM!

    Am thinking of cooking crown roast of pork. Do you think it will be ok if i brined it? There was a brining solution in yummy which also includes sugar as well as salt in the recipe. Which do you think would be better?

    Dec 18, 2007 | 1:51 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    miles, yes, definitely brine. The use of sugar is up to you, depending on taste. Using salt alone will make the roast succulent, but using sugar will add a sweet flavor as well…

    Dec 18, 2007 | 2:35 pm

  11. little says:

    Hi marketman, we usually have turkey as a tradition for christmas. This time, our old caterer told us that he will no longer be available. ( gasp!) so now we are looking. do you know anyone who caters? :)

    Dec 19, 2007 | 11:49 am

  12. Prime Quizon says:

    Gud morning, Mr. Marketman! Pleasantly surprised to find your website.What a blessing!Am even morre delighted to know through the readers’ comments about a the growing awareness and demand for a healthy meat option. You see, my husband raise turkeys in our Antipolo farm. I process them into burger patties, nuggets, kiddie burgers, meat balls. This year, I am going into ham making to serve the Filipino market. We our locally grown, raised turkeys, we don’t have to settle for the frozen imported Butterball, Norbest or Shelton brand. We have them right in our farm where they grow organically. I forgot to mention that, our turkey adobo flakes was a hit as a corporate giveaway last Christmas! We need to improve lang our packaging. Thanks talaga to Marketman! Very interesting mga tips and recipes. For your turkey needs, please email your orders. We sell ground meat, wings for broth, liver and gizzard for pate.

    Feb 14, 2008 | 11:38 am

  13. Ellie says:

    This looks really delicious, and I’m really sad I only found this now and not earlier, during the holiday seasons. I only have to ask what suggestions you have should you be unable to find the plums you need (where I live, plums are rather rare). that goes for any other ingredient in the recipe, actually.

    -Ellie http://www.plums.com

    Apr 25, 2008 | 7:52 am


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