Saturday, November 27, 2010

Roast Turkey with Donabe Rice

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at home this year.
After spending past few Thanksgivings out of town, it was really nice to do it at home and I got to roast a turkey, too!

The turkey was dry-cured for 2+ days with the salt and mixed dry herbs/ spices (bay leaves, fennel seeds, red peppercorns, thyme, rosemary, etc.) inside out. The cavity was stuffed with orange wedges, fennel stalks and fronds, bay leaves. After about 2.5 hours (425F for the first 30 min. then 325F for the rest) in the oven, the shiny roasted turkey was just ready.

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While the turkey was in the oven, we enjoyed the cured mullet roe (we call it "Karasumi") which I brought back from Taipei. I simply sliced these Taiwanese "bottarga" and served with thinly sliced daikon radish. The Karasumi was so nicely chewy with the very pure flavors. It was one of the best kinds I've had. I also served my 3-day miso-marinated tofu. It was very nice.

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With the soup & stew donabe, "Miso-shiru Nabe", I made a kabocha & prune soup. The addition of a few dry prunes to the soup (then blended together) made this soup taste more upscale. So hearty and so tasty.

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Turkey was carved and served with the special donabe rice, which was cooked with the double-lid donabe rice cooker, "Kamado-san"! The reason why it was special was because the rice was Iga rice, which I got as a gift. So, I cooked the iga rice in the iga donabe. The rice (2 rice-cups) was mixed with Japanese black beans, sprouted brown rice, sweet rice, pressed barley, and roasted soybeans. Once the rice was cooked, I quickly mixed it with 2 tablespoons of each soft butter, light-color soy sauce ("usukuchi shoyu"), and thinly sliced zest from one orange. It was so perfect with the roasted turkey, and the turkey was so perfectly juicy while the meat had the nice density.

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I also made cranberry jelly, gravy, as well as oven-roasted heirloom carrots, and steam-fried miso brussels sprouts with the tagine-style donabe, "Fukkura-san". Yes, and dessert...I made Kabocha flan with black sugar sauce.

Dinner was a lot of work (and I cut my finger while slicing the turkey!), but it was so worthwhile and I had a great time with my husband, Jason.