Taiwanese Turkey and Rice | 嘉義火雞肉飯
Leftover turkey from thanksgiving? I’ve got your back! This is something completely different from your regular turkey meal and it’s simple to make but never lack of flavor. Asian street food style turkey and rice will help you eat up all that turkey because it’s just too good. You can make this recipe with chicken or turkey breast if you don’t have any turkey leftovers.
Turkey is not a popular source of meat in Taiwan and it’s not easy to find especially in the north. There are a few turkey farms down south and my grandparents used to raise turkeys. There isn’t a whole lot of dishes that’s made with turkey but there is one and one dish only that everybody knows- JiaYi turkey and rice. JiaYi(嘉義,jia1yi4) is a county situated in southern Taiwan, I guess that’s where the turkeys are raised because for some reason turkey and rice has never been related to any other cities, and when people talk about the dish-even in another city- it’s always “Jiayi turkey and rice”. That’s the dish’s official name in Taiwan.
There are quite a few popular dishes that’s similar to this, it’s very basic and simple- just rice and protein with delicious sauce such as TAIWANESE PICKLE MEATLOAF | 瓜子肉. It’s not very often that we eat big chunks of meat in Taiwan, I think it’s traces back to the sort of imaginary war we had with what’s now China and when the society wasn’t prosper, people would often make the most use out of very little ingredient and create big flavors.
I don’t know about you, but I am very bad at eating the same food everyday. My goal when I cook is usually to have as little leftover as possible unless I’m planning on creating something else with the dish. Since I have a big box of turkey leftover from the thanksgiving dinner and we’ve already had breakfast AND lunch with the exact same food, it’s time to spice it up.
Turkey is shredded and layered on top of hot steaming freshly cooked rice(I like brown rice, but use white rice for authenticity), then a sauce made with shallots fried in oil and rendered with chicken stock, soy sauce, sugar is drizzled on top. Serve with your choice of blanched or steamed green veggie and it’s a perfect meal. All you really need to do is to make some rice and the sauce will only take 10 minutes.
At most turkey and rice shops in Taiwan, the oil they fry the shallots in is a mixture of chicken/turkey fat and lard, about half and half to really enhance the flavor of the dish. But regular vegetable oil can be replaced since not everyone has chicken fat or lard laying around the house. I’m a firm believer in “Whole Foods”, whole food in my definition is eating every part of an animal or vegetable I buy. I would usually buy a whole chicken and dissect it myself, the liver, wings, thighs, breasts will each become it’s own dish and the leftover bones and neck becomes amazing broth bones. Once the broth is made then the little pieces of meat still attached to the bones are shredded and becomes chicken and rice(instead of turkey and rice). The fat and skin trimmed from the chicken are added to a hot pan and fried to extract the oil for later usage(ex. using it to fry the shallots for this recipe), nothing goes to waste.
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- 2 C Shredded Turkey See below for instructions if making this dish from scratch
- 3 Shallots Thinly sliced
- 1-1/2 TBsp Oil Vegetable Oil, Lard, Chicken Fat or Half and Half
- 3 TBsp Soy Sauce
- 1 TBsp Sugar
- 3/4 C Chicken/Turkey Broth or replace with water
- 2 C Rice Steam or cooked according to instruction. You can also use the chicken stock from boiling the chicken to cook rice if making from scratch. It really enhances the flavor
- 1 Chicken Breast/Turkey Breast
Boil just enough water to cover the chicken/turkey breast in a pot. Add the chicken/turkey and cook for 5 mins(10mins for turkey) then turn the heat off and let it sit in the pot for 40 mins. This makes the meat super tender
Remove from pot and shred into small pieces
In a frying pan, heat up 1-1/2 TBsp of oil of your choice.
Add the sliced shallots to the oil and fry until crispy golden
Add 3/4C Chicken/Turkey stock 3TBsp Soy Sauce 1TBsp Sugar to the pan, the oil may splatter
Cook on high to slightly reduce the sauce
Layer shredded turkey/chicken over steaming rice, pour the sauce over the turkey/chicken according to personal taste. Mix well before eating. Serve with blanched green veggies