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Herb-inspired Roast Turkey Recipe

Planning for your Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner's centerpiece? This holiday, add a twist to your roast turkey by using our recipe filled with energy-boosting ingredients and more! Surprise your guests with your knowledge of the star ingredients used in the recipe, refer to our cheat sheet below.

p.s. This is not a quick and easy recipe. However, to savour the goodness of herbs in it and to impress your guests on the day, it is definitely worth the time and efforts! Happy Holidays!

Ingredients (serves six to eight)

Ingredients to make the Herbal Chicken Broth (make 1.5 litres for use in rice stuffing & gravy)
1 pack Eu Yan Sang American Ginseng Nourishing Soup Pack
300 gram Chicken thigh
0.25 cup Licorice Root
1.8 litre Water
A dash of Eu Yan Sang Ginseng Wine
Ingredients to Make the Herbal Rice Stuffing  
8 tablespoon Butter
4 pieces Large onions, sliced
500 gram Shitake mushrooms, sliced or chopped 
4-5 cups Herbal chicken broth
1.5 cup Wild rice
1 cup White rice 
0.5 cup Coix Barley, pre-boiled and strained
0.5 cup Dried Chinese wolfberries (a.k.a. Goji berry)
0.75 cup Fresh Ginkgo Nuts, peeled and boiled
1 teaspoon Fresh ginger, minced
0.25 cup Coriander, chopped 
Ingredients to Make the Roast Turkey
4.5 kilogram Turkey, thawed
20 gram Sage and thyme
To taste Ground black pepper
To taste Salt
Ingredients to Make the Gravy
0.25 cup Turkey dripping/butter
300 mililitre Herbal chicken broth
A dash of Flour


Step 1: Herbal Chicken Broth
1.1. Bring water to boil and add all ingredients, except Ginseng Wine. Reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.
1.2. Add a dash of Ginseng Wine, strain the herbs from the broth. Set aside.

Step 2: Herbal Rice Stuffing
2.1. Use butter to sauté onions until caramelized. Sauté mushrooms until slightly softened. Set aside.
2.2. Measure 4 cups of herbal chicken broth and add in wild rice. Simmer for 8 minutes.
2.3. Stir barley and white rice in chicken broth. Simmer for 15 minutes.
2.4. Add in Ginkgo Nuts, Red Dates, ginger, sautéed onions, mushrooms and Goji. Simmer for another 5 minutes and remove from heat. Cover the pot to allow steam through for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Turkey Roasting
3.1. Preheat oven to 160⁰C before roasting the turkey. Add thyme and sage to lightly-melted butter to baste turkey. 
3.2. Thaw the turkey completely and pull the neck and giblets out of the cavity; rub salt on the internal cavity and wash off thoroughly.
3.3. It is important to pat dry the turkey inside out. 
3.4. Fill the turkey with herbal rice stuffing. Add in Ginseng and Licorice Root from the broth for enriched flavour.
3.5. Season the turkey with thyme, sage, salt, pepper and brush with melted butter.
3.6. Place breast-side up and roast for 2 hours.
3.7. Baste with turkey fat or butter at every 30 minute interval for first 2 hours.
3.8. Increase the oven temperature to 200⁰C and roast for another hour or until the skin is crisp. Rest for 45 minutes before serving. 

Step 4: Herbal Turkey Gravy
4.1. Heat up the fat and drippings of the turkey in the oven pan. Sprinkle flour to make a golden brown paste over low heat.  
4.2. Slowly whisk in small amounts of herbal chicken broth into the paste over low heat. Simmer into the gravy of your desired thickness and serve.

Tip: If the broth is running out, boil the giblets in water and use it as a substitute, add shreds of chicken into the gravy for a richer flavour.


Star Ingredients Used in the Recipe

American Ginseng
In TCM, American Ginseng is used to treat many ailments. It’s well-known for boosting the immune system, and is prescribed for flu or cold. In the wider medical community, the herb has been used to regulate the central nervous and circulatory systems. As a culinary ingredient, it has a sweet and slightly warm taste, with an aroma that’s said to relieve stress when breathed in!

Chinese Wolfberry (also known as Goji Berry)
Not only do these berries impart a tantalising bright red hue to the dish it is cooked in, they are one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits around, packed with multiple medicinal properties. They improve circulation, ameliorate dizziness and tinnitus, and possess wealth of ophthalmology benefits.

Red Dates
The flowers and leaves of Red Dates are used in perfumes and potpourri in other countries. But in TCM, the herb aids, to restore the energy of the Spleen, nourish Blood and ease the mind. As such, it is good for those suffering from loss of appetite and loose stools due to deficiencies of the Spleen.

Coix Barley
Coix barley is often used as a beauty food to help maintain a good complexion and to get rid of fluid retention in the body, which may result in a bloated appearance, puffiness and weight gain. In TCM, this herb helps to ease water retention in the body, nourish the Spleen and Stomach systems and relieve rheumatic pain.

Licorice Root helps to remove heat and toxins from the body and is often recommended by TCM physicians as an herb to prevent or relieve a hangover!


Recipe courtesy of Jessica Ho. Jessica is the Manager of Eu Yan Sang Innovation Lab, specialises in product development, sourcing and quality control of Traditional Chinese Medicine products, nutritional supplements and health foods.

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