Simple, Healthy Turkey Recipe

December 31, 2013

Happy new year to all whose eyes are gracing my humble blog on this new year's eve/day! Before the year ends, and while the celebratory mood is still high in the air, I wish to share with you a turkey recipe!

This recipe is thanks to my aunt, who makes the best turkey ever! We used to gather at her place around christmas annually and feast on her awesome and juicy turkey. Not only is this recipe is simple and easy to follow, the ingredients are surprisingly healthy. This is because the fillings are just vegetables and the most sinful thing is probably just the bacon.

So instead of following a random recipe online, I really wanted to do it her way. The recipe can be found on her blog, but it's in Chinese. So for those who wish for the English version, I've painstakingly translated it just for you! Here goes!

Are you ready to get this beautiful turkey? Don't feel daunted by the list of ingredients, for the steps are simple enough. All it takes is time ^__^ 

- 4-5kg Turkey (Butterball brand is recommended because the meat is juicier)
- Streaky bacon 200g

[For seasoning]
- 1 tablespoon of Brandy
- 1 tablespoon of Maggi seasoning
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of rosemary leaves (I used the dried ones, although fresh is good too!)
- Half tablespoon of coarse ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 1 tablespoon of caster sugar

[For Filling]
- 2 Carrots 
- 1 White Radish
- 1 Large onion (white)
- 2 Stalks of celery

[For dressing/sauce]
- The baked fillings from the turkey
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1 large onion
- 2 tablespoons of white flour

[To serve]
- Lettuce or Pita bread/tortillas

1. To season the turkey, mix together all the ingredients for the seasoning in a large bowl. Following which, rub the entire turkey (inside and outside!) with the seasoning. I had fun sticking my hand into the turkey's cavity hahahah. Soak and season the turkey for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight! Note: Buy the turkey two days in advance to give the turkey time to defrost. Mine took an entire day in the fridge to be completely defrosted. 

2. Chop up the ingredients for the filling into small and bite sized cubes. Stuff the filling into the turkey and surround the turkey with the remaining filling as shown in the picture below!

3. This is optional, and not part of my aunt's recipe, but I also rubbed butter under the skin of the breast area of the turkey to make sure that the meat does not dry up.
4. Cover the entire turkey with streaky bacon (yum!)
5. If you wish, cover the ends of the turkey drums and the wings with aluminium foil. Otherwise, you could also tie the turkey drums with string and stuff the wings under the turkey like what I did in the picture.

5. Preheat the oven to 240 degrees celsius and bake the turkey for half an hour.
6. Lower the temperature to 220 degrees celsius and bake for another half an hour.
7. Further lower the temperature to 200 degrees celsius and bake for half an hour. At this point, remove the streaky bacon. (I actually forgot to remove the bacon but the turkey turned out great with the crispy bacon on top).
8. Turn up the temperature to 240 degrees celsius and keep an eye on that turkey! You're almost done now! Within the next 15-30 minutes, the turkey would be perfectly baked. Constantly check on the turkey to ensure it doesn't get burnt.
9. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it cool before removing the filling/slicing it.  

There you have it! Your very own turkey! I never thought I'd be able to bake a successful turkey on my first try, but this recipe is simple enough to follow and does not require any fancy techniques - just time.

Now time for the sauce
1. Chop the ingredients and combine with the baked fillings from the turkey. Place them in a large pot. Pour all the juices from the turkey into the pot.
2. Add the flour and mix well.
3. Place it over low heat and mix it constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. (You should get something like the sauce in the picture below)

The turkey is now ready to be served and eaten! You can eat the turkey with the sauce alone, or you could also eat it with pita bread/lettuce/tortilla. 

Portrait with the turkey!

If you know how to carve a turkey, good for you! Us, on the other hand, simply started by cutting the drums away and slowly slicing the meat from the breast. We made a mess, but it still tasted great hahaha. Good turkey is good turkey. 

I'm so glad to have successfully baked a turkey on the first attempt! It's been on my bucket list for the longest time now, and I can finally strike it off! The turkey tasted just like my aunt's, and every bite reminded me of the good ol' times.

Just some snaps from christmas eve...

As you can tell, we were having a lot of fun with Marcus' dogs.

The yummy pizza we had to go along with the turkey!

Just one more picture of the awesome and juicy turkey.

I don't have any resolutions this year, though I do hope for a better year ahead to make up for this insane year. Happy new year everyone!

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