Using up the turkey: Chiayi turkey rice and khao soi

So in the last thing I wrote, I noted that I used the turkey breast for turkey porchetta char-siu, and the turkey back and carcass for ramen broth. I was stuck with the remaining wings and thighs, and I was coming down with a fever and a hangover, so I decided to do the easiest thing possible and just throw them in a pressure cooker, cover them with the least amount of water possible (to produce a concentrated broth) and left it on the stove until the meat were falling off the bones (about 20 min). I separated the meat from the bones, and the broth from whatever was left in the liquid.

The first batch I used to make khao soi. I combined Andy Ricker’s recipe from Pok Pok and Kenji Lopez’s recipe from Serious Eats.

Khao soi

And yes, I did not have any cilantro on hand, so I sprinkled some green onions. I regret that part, but that’s what home cooking is like. It’s balancing out the ideals represented in the cookbook with the realities of your pantry.

The second part I used to make Chiayi style turkey rice. It’s one of those extremely homey dishes that you get for dirt cheap, but is somehow memorable. It’s also the easiest dish to make if you already have some poached turkey and turkey broth on hand.

Taiwan chicken rice

The turkey rice actually doesn’t have that much turkey on it. A lot of the flavor comes from the turkey fat (that you can get by skimming the broth after it congeals) and the oil from the fried shallots.

So you start out by either frying up some shallots and garlic in a pool of oil until they become brown and crisp, or purchase some fried shallots from an Asian supermarket. They are sometimes called fried onions. It’s all the same. I think. I actually can’t tell the difference between shallots and onions sometimes. I personally think that this fact disqualifies me from writing about food at all.

Reserve the oil. Put shredded turkey in a pot and cover with very little amount of turkey broth. Salt and pepper. Throw in an awful lot of fried shallots/onions and stew on low for five minutes. Add some of the oil, enough so that the dish would be a bit too oily for your liking. Dump the whole thing onto some rice, and the oily-ness will become balanced.

If you have one of those artificially sweetened, artificially yellowed radish pickles they sell in Asian markets, garnish the dish with those.

Excellent with tofu mixed with preserved duck eggs, or clear broth with Chinese chives and congealed pig blood.

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