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Soy And Ginger Braised Turkey Breast

Manhattan caterer Rick Rodgers showed me his variation on the classic "red-cooked" whole chicken. A whole turkey breast is about the same size, but contains a higher proportion of meat, and its smooth skin takes on the same deep mahogany color from slow cooking in a soy sauce mixture. This is an adaptation of the recipe that appears in his book "The Turkey Cookbook" (HarperCollins, 1990). It's delicious served hot, but it's even better at room temperature.

Type: Poultry, Turkey
Courses: Main Course
Serves: 4 people

Recipe Ingredients

1   Turkey breast - (abt 4 1/2 lbs) - bone in, skin on
2 cups 474mlLow-sodium soy sauce
2 cups 474mlWater
1/2 cup 118mlDry sherry or Chinese rice wine
1 tablespoon 15mlCoarsely-chopped ginger
1   Star anise
  = (or 1/4 tspn anise seed)
1   Green onion - coarsely chopped (medium)
3 tablespoons 45mlLight brown sugar - (packed)
3 tablespoons 45mlSesame oil
  = (or vegetable oil)
  Lettuce leaves - for garnish

Recipe Instructions

Rinse the turkey breast and pat it dry with paper towels. Combine the soy sauce, water, sherry, ginger, star anise, and green onion in a large saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the turkey breast, skin-side up. Using a baster or large spoon, continuously baste the turkey breast with the braising liquid until it returns to a simmer, about 1 minute. Cover the pan tightly, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, basting twice. Turn the turkey breast over carefully with two wooden spoons; stir in the brown sugar. Cover and simmer 20 minutes longer, basting the turkey twice.

Remove the pan from the heat but keep it tightly covered. Let the turkey stand in the liquid for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes. Turn the turkey breast over carefully with two wooden spoons and let it stand, covered, 1 hour longer, again basting every 15 minutes.

Remove the turkey breast from the braising liquid and place it on a washed surface. Brush the skin with sesame oil. For the best-looking presentation, chop the breast into pieces Chinese-style. With a heavy cleaver, chop the rib and backbone section away from the meat portion of the breast. Chop the breast in half vertically down the breastbone. Chop each breast portion crosswise into 3 or 4 pieces. Chop each piece in half vertically. (If you prefer, carve the turkey breast in the usual way.) To serve, line a serving platter with lettuce leaves and arrange the turkey pieces on top. Serve at room temperature with braising liquid as a dipping sauce.

This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.

Everybody's Wokking by Martin Yan, (Harlow & Ratner, 1991)


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