No Christmas feast would be complete without this festive fowl… turkey, gobbled up with stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy. We picked out two of our favourite birds of the season and go behind the scenes to find out these hotels’ secret to great tasting turkey.

Before turkeys were eaten on Christmas, swans, pheasants and even peacocks were common Christmas meals. It was only in the 19th century that King Edward VII of England popularised this big bird as a festive centrepiece in the U.K.. Even then, they were available to the rich as they had to be imported from America. It was only in the 1950s when refrigerators became common that people could afford this prized poultry. Since then, roasted turkey has occupied the table of many Christmas spreads around the world.

The bird:

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One Farrer’s Salt Encrusted Turkey ($160)

This labour-intensive technique seals in all the moisture during the baking process, resulting in juicy, flavoursome flesh, plus you can’t deny the theatrical value of the salt crust! We got One Farrer’s executive sous chef Ho to show us how it’s done:

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The turkey itself is simply brined and stuffed with herbs like thyme and rosemary, all grown in their rooftop farm.

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The bird is then covered and sealed in a pizza dough-like crust made with olive oil, yeast, table salt, flour, water. The dough is then brushed with egg wash and covered in rock salt for insulation. The entire thing is then slowly baked for two hours, which hardens the crust while the turkey inside is braised in its juices to perfection. The finished dish comes with giblet, and cranberry sauce, and a mallet (yes!) for you to break the salt crust with.

Available 21 Nov-31 Dec (order 3 working days in advance). Order online at www.onefarrer.com, or at One Farrer Confectionary. One Farrer Hotel & Spa, 1 Farrer Park Station Road. Tel: 6363 0101

The bird:

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Hotel Jen’s Asian style roasted turkey done percik style ($198 with trimmings)

The Malaysian-style marinade is usually done with chicken, so it makes perfect sense to apply it to turkey. Chef Puah of Hoten Jen shows us how it’s done:

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The turkey takes three whole days to make–it is first brined for 24 hours before being marinated overnight in a rempah of turmeric powder, fresh turmeric leaves, shallots, onions, garlic and lemongrass. Then, it’s roasted for one and a half hours before being served with chef’s special sauce made with the rempah, peanut sauce, chilli and coconut milk.   The turkey also comes with scrummy sides like a mango prawn salad and crab meat fried rice.

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Available 24 Nov-31 Dec. Order through e-mail at J65@hoteljen.com.sg or at the hotel’s festive desk. Hotel Jen Tanglin, 1A Cuscaden Rd. Tel:   6738 2222

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