Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Kalua Turkey Recipe Not-in-the-pit #1 Kitchen Oven

Hawaii's Imu - the underground oven
Seems like everyone in the mainland US has an idea of what they should or should not eat for Christmas dinner. In Hawaii it depends on the majority of the ethnic group of your family, and for us it was usually more turkey. 

We didn't do much ham, may be cause it was too 'mainland', I have no clue.

While reflecting back to the holidays in Hawaii I realized while watching a Thanksgiving episode of the reality show, Cake Boss, it was always about family and food. So I set out to find some versions of kalua turkey when digging a hole out in the backyard just won't cut it.

On my search for an alternative to the pit for mainlanders and islanders who want to use electricity I found this oven version and I'll be posting at least two other versions using a crock pot (slow cooker) and a pressure cooker - I need to do a little more research but check back.

Here's the oven versions from Sara who lives in the east coast and who's dad modified the imu (underground oven) to the regular house oven.

Kalua Turkey Recipe - in the Oven


1 1/2 cups coarse sea salt or kosher salt (Hawaiian salt can be ordered online) 16-pound fresh turkey, giblets, neck and any other packets removed 1/2 cup liquid smoke seasoning, or more as needed Water (optional) Large heavy duty roasting pan Heavy duty foil Meat thermometer 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Have at hand a roasting pan with rack that fits inside.

Use all of the salt to rub the exterior of the bird, its cavity and gently under the skin as much as possible. 

Then pour all of the liquid smoke seasoning outside and inside the bird, rubbing it into the skin to spread it evenly. 

Place the turkey on the rack in the roasting pan; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast for 4 1/2 to 5 hours, until much of the skin is lightly browned and a thermometer inserted into the thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165 degrees. The turkey should be falling off the bone. Uncover, and let the turkey rest for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, strain the pan juices into a small saucepan. Add water (to dilute) or a little liquid smoke seasoning (to intensify the flavor) as needed. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for about 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and keep warm; its consistency will be thin.

Discard all the skin and remove the bones from the turkey, reserving the bones for another use, if desired. Transfer the meat to a separate large pan or casserole dish or platter. Use two forks or your clean hands to shred the turkey to the consistency of pulled pork.

Before serving, pour the heated pan juices over the turkey and toss lightly to coat. Serve warm.


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