Gobble gamble: Roast Beijing… turkey?

Imagine five times bigger - and with stuffing.
Imagine five times bigger - and with stuffing.

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On every Thanksgiving and Christmas during my four years in China, a thought has popped into my head: What if a Beijing duck restaurant cooked turkeys instead?

It looks like I will finally get a step close to the answer. Yesterday, I met Da Dong, the GM of Beijing Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant, and he granted my wish to stick a turkey in one of his fireplaces. This is about him being generous rather than any plans to add this meat to the menu, and talking to him made me realize a few things need to be decided:

  • The size of the turkey: Two kilograms of duck take about an hour to roast, so how big to go with the bird?
  • The coating: Da Dong ducks have a honey lacquer, but perhaps a Canadian touch – some maple syrup – is in order.
  • The intensity of the fire: This is related to the fat content of the bird.
  • The stuffing: I’m thinking a traditional bread blend but with a local twist – some crushed instant noodles (I imagine the latter soaking up all that turkey juice).
  • The serving: Ideally, both Beijing duck style, i.e. with wraps, spring onion, plum sauce, et al., as well as Western style, with cranberry substituted as a sauce.

Decisions, decisions… If any amateur or professional chefs out have advice in the lead-up to Project Gobble, please leave a comment or drop me a line at beijingboyce@yahoo.com.

Big props to chef Brian McKenna and assistant Lisa Zhao of Room, slated to open in March, for their help in making this a reality.

(Photo: Caozitou)

5 thoughts on “Gobble gamble: Roast Beijing… turkey?”

  1. Did this happen? Photos please.

    I’ve thought in the past about having a Chinese-style turkey-off: Beijing duck roasted turkey vs. Xinjiang tandoor-roasted turkey. Now that would be a blog entry.

  2. @ michael,

    Not yet, still working out the ducky details. Beijing vs Xinjiang sounds like a good “round two.”

    Cheers, Boyce

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