Japanese 7 Spice Turkey (based on Japanese Roast Chicken from BH&G*)
*Better Homes & Gardens makes you register with their site in order to see their recipes. Here is a pdf version of the recipe, no registration required.
We all know the saying “The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. This can also be a fairly speedy route to the female heart as well. Staying in and making your date dinner (or making it together) rates high on the romance scale. You get to show off your creativity and appreciation for nuance & details, even if it’s a simple dish. No different from putting an outfit together. That’s what this series is about. She or he will be left impressed, and you won’t need the skills of Wolfgang Puck.
- Familiar Ingredients: navel orange, olive oil, salt, butter, chicken broth
- Not So Familiar Ingredients: Japanese 7 Spice, baby bok choy, toasted sesame oil, young turkey breast, actual baby carrots
- Number of Pans/Pots you’ll need to make this dish: roasting pan with rack for the bird & veggies
Another bird recipe? Well it is November after all. And if you grew up in a traditional American household, whether you liked it or not, turkey was on the table come Thanksgiving day. And for several days afterwards. Here’s a take on turkey with an Asian twist. The original recipe is actually for roasting a whole chicken, but substituting a small bone-in turkey breast works great. This is a fairly easy, elegant way to share some gobble gobble with your main squeeze.
This definitely does not taste like a Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s a refreshing take on meat & veggies for the holidays. If you’re looking to change things up, give it a try. But before you do, a few words of advice…
Turkey Breast- My local grocer carries bone in young turkey breasts in their fresh meat department. For this recipe, the smaller the breast the better. If you end up with a larger breast (over 4 lbs), you’ll need to add the veggies later in the roasting process, when there is about an hour left to cook. Otherwise the delicate ends of the bok choy leaves can get a little over done. Also, don’t depend on a pop up timer if one comes in your bird. The bird is done when the internal temp reaches 170º. Often times, the pop up timer pops up once the bird is past this temp, over cooking it. Use a meat thermometer to keep tabs on it.
Baby Bok Choy & Carrots – Baby bok choy can usually be found somewhere near adult bok choy in your grocer’s produce department. Actual baby carrots, on the other hand, can be harder to come buy. We’re talking full carrots with tops, not the “baby carrots” that are actually adult carrots whittled down for easy eating. If you can’t find true baby carrots, you should be able to find carrots with their tops still attached. Just cut these guys in half, or quarter them, before roasting.
Japanese 7 Spice – You can either purchase this spice mixture, or you can easily prep your own. Just mix 2 tbsp dried orange peel (in the spice aisle), 4 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds (in the Asian foods aisle), 2 tsp black sesame seeds (same aisle), 2 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp crushed red pepper. Store in a jar for up to 6 months. This is a great seasoning for fish, fowl, and vegetables.
Easy to make Japanese 7 Spice
Pan Sauce – Yes, you can take your roasting pan from oven to stove top. If it’s a large pan just place it across two burners, the heat will conduct. You can either ladle the sauce out of the pan, or carefully pour it into a serving vessel straight from the pan. I’d recommend doing this in the sink.
Fresh Herbs – Truth be told, I forgot to add the fresh herbs at the end when I made this dish. Fresh herbs always enhance flavor though, so I’d recommend adding it. If I had remembered to add them, thyme and tarragon would have been my picks. I’d snip (or coarsely chop) about a tablespoon of each, and sprinkle over each serving of the dish.
Sarah is a self proclaimed foodie and regular contributor to theprettyguineapig.com. She hopes that the Dappered readers have a relaxing Thanksgiving full of good food and good friends, and if they’ve been waiting to bust out that velvet blazer, it might just be the perfect day.