Thursday, December 9, 2010

Turkey a la Hong Kong

We are learning to lean on each other during the holidays. For Thanksgiving, Tom invited 12 faculty members/spouses to a pot luck at our place. Not a bad plan. The weather was gorgeous, so we convened on the terrace outside our block. As hostess, I provided the turkey, gravy, and all the partyware. Everyone else was to bring a dish to share.

Now the partyware was far more challenging that one would expect. I "Googled" party supply stores and came up with one that I thought would have just what we needed. One bus ride, one thirty minute ferry ride, one subway ride (3-stops), and a four block walk - I arrived at the address. No Party Store! Could not even find the stairs to go up to get to the upper floors. So I resorted to the grocery store. (Both of them) Half of the supplies from one, half from the other.

That was fine though, because I had to go to both to take care of the turkey. The usual store offered Butterballs, cooking included, for a mere $850 HK. (That's $110 US - a bit much considering we don't like their rotisserie chickens) I was able to find a 16 lb. at Fusion for a much better price. This only brought on the next issue with living in an apartment that has a fridge the size of most Americans' wine/beer fridge.

How to defrost a Turkey in Hong Kong-
Ice comes in 2kg bags. It takes 6 to pack down an igloo cooler with a 16lb. bird. Everyday I bought two more bags and topped off the red plastic tub on my balcony. By day four, I had a somewhat still icy bird that wasn't ready to be cooked so I opened the lid.

The next morning I got up and put the bird in the sink while I prepped everything else. With veggies cut and herbs soaking in the melted butter, I shoved my hand in the carcass and pulled out the bag. Hmm.... it was open and the neck was all I could identify. After 5 minutes of examination, I assumed that was all. Perhaps giblets were omitted, I thought to myself.
I stuffed the bird with veggies and set it in the pan drenched with "extra butter". Into the very carefully measured oven it went for its four hour roast.

It was after cleaning the kitchen and picking up the courtesy "instruction" card included in your Butterball turkey that I realized the giblets were in a SECOND bag that had been covered in the neck cavity with the bird's skin. Oh well, we have two hours before dinner and we would just have to wait.

Needless to say, for my second bird ever, it turned out awesome. I have to thank the Perfect Turkey recipe for a fabulous bird - even with the extras! And a special thanks goes to Tom, who swears now that carving the bird ruins the whole gastronomic experience.

1 comment:

  1. Another great story from adventure land. As your Mom and I grew up, then went into military life, we can recall similar ones. When we lived in Korea, our Mom cooked on a wood stove. We hope you had a very Merry Christmas. Christ is everywhere! Laus Deo!