About 3 weeks ago, the lovely people at Kikkoman sent me a HUGE box of goodies with one intent: create a "practice" Thanksgiving meal using their products, and share my ideas with you, my readers! I jumped at the chance because, believe it or not, I'd never made a turkey.
Once our Thanksgiving plans were solidified, I figured out a day to make my practice Thanksgiving dinner. It was a little hard to plan out because turkeys can take upwards of 5 hours to cook thoroughly, and there are very few days that I have that much free time.
Then it hit me: I didn't have to make a whole turkey! Because Kikkoman had sent me a Whole Foods gift card, I went to my local Whole Foods Market and found what I was looking for: a bone-in turkey breast. My original plan was to follow the Kikkoman directions for brining a turkey in soy sauce, but I'm not that patient. I'll get to my method in a minute.
I dug into the other goodies that Kikkoman sent and found a box of Extra Crispy Tempura batter.
I'd never made tempura before, and I figured no time like the present! Rather than a standard side dish of candied sweet potatoes and green bean casserole, I made some deliciously crispy sweet potato and green bean tempura with a Kikkoman lemon ponzu dipping sauce.
Crispy, crunchy, amazing tempura from my own kitchen?! YES PLEASE!! I see tempura fish, tempura chicken, tempura shrimp, tempura tempura...
I also tried my hand at making stuffing for the first time. I enlisted the help of the Whole Foods geniuses and got a box of their Canturbury Organics stuffing mix.
Then, I prepped my turkey breast. It was opened, rinsed, dried, and then I made a wet rub of Kikkoman soy sauce (about 1/2 c.), 2 Tb. Kitchen Bouquet gravy seasoning, garlic powder (about 1 Tb.) and about 1 Tb. of onion powder. I rubbed the turkey breast with this mixture and put sliced lemons in the cavity. It was roasted slowly at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for almost 3 hours.
I diluted the remaining rub with chicken broth (which Adam thought was weird?) and basted the turkey every 30 or so minutes until the internal temperature was 180*F. The result was perfect!
The skin, or the "bacon of the poultry world" as we call it, was crispy, salty, garlicky, and delicious. The meat was perfectly tender, and it's no doubt due to the extra salt in the soy sauce. I usually use a little bit in my poultry marinades, but the extra, absolutely made this bird boob (yes, I said bird boob) perfect.
The stuffing could've used a bit more liquid, but in all, it was a wonderful precursor to the multiple Thanksgiving meals we'll be having in the coming week.
In addition to the half-gallon of soy sauce, tempura batter, and ponzu sauce, Kikkoman also sent me: