Posh Nosh: Rock Salt Baked Turkey

By Tan Hsueh Yun

The Straits Times

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013

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It has become a tradition every year for me to see what variation of Christmas turkey the Goodwood Park Hotel comes up with.

I am rarely disappointed and its birds almost always appear on my Christmas table.

This year's turkey is cooked in a way that might bring on waves of nostalgia. If you remember salt-baked chicken as fondly as I do, you will like the hotel's turkey this year.

What people fear most about the bird is dry breast meat and they have nothing to worry about with this one. It is juicy, seeing as how the bird is wrapped in paper, packed in rock salt and then slow baked for two hours.

The dark meat is fantastic, of course, but the breast meat, which makes up most of the bird, is so tender you can pull it off with a fork.

Scallions and shallots stuffed into the cavity contribute to the appetising aroma that wafts out when you peel back the paper.

I had a soft, caramelised shallot and it was delicious.

There are accompaniments to the turkey too - a tub of fragrant rice studded with crispy bok choy and dried shrimps, and jars of chicken rice chilli sauce and ginger puree.

Goodwood Park has had a good run with Asian-style turkeys so far: the briyani inspired one last year, turkey poached in soy sauce in 2011 and boneless turkey stuffed with Shanghai noodles in 2010.

I hope its chefs are drawing inspiration from other parts of the world for next year's turkey.

Let's see what they come up with.

Rock Salt Baked Turkey, $188 each (feeds eight to 12), from Goodwood Park Hotel Deli until Dec 26. Order three working days in advance by calling 6730-1867/1868 from 10am to 6pm daily, at the Deli from 9am to 9pm daily, e-mail festive@goodwoodparkhotel.com or go to festivepromotions.goodwoodparkhotel.com. Last order date is noon on Dec 20.

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