Twice-cooked turkey wings with black pudding and shiitake mushrooms
Poor old turkey. The bird has been the packhorse of nondescript protein for generations. But years of genetic selection for maximum return and fast growth has rendered the turkey of the wild into what is more akin to a cephalopod. Debeaked and with breasts so big the birds can hardly walk, industrial “farmed” turkeys don’t make it beyond six months on this earth. Chickens are similarly commodified.
But that is industrial practice and thankfully there are many passionate farmers working in more humane ways. These turkey wings are from a grower in Queensland who raises the birds free range and is certified organic. Heritage breeds of turkey are of a completely different structure to the industrialised norm. These birds are more expensive, but it is the direction in which the dollars should be going.
This recipe is based on twice cooking, which is very popular in Cantonese cuisine. While not remaining completely true to a genuine master stock, this mixture can be reused. Bring the used stock to the boil and strain before storing it in the refrigerator. To reuse, simply bring the reserved stock to the boil, then refresh with aromatics and fresh water and wine before rebalancing the seasoning. I have heard of master stock lasting more than 100 years and have been privy to it lasting five years, but my nerve tends to run out after five or so uses.
Serves 6 as a snack or 3 as a meal
- 4 shallots
- 20ml grapeseed oil
- 200g shiitake mushrooms
- 200g black pudding
- 750ml Shaoxing wine
- 1 head of garlic
- 6 dried allspice berries
- 4 bay leaves
- 200g treacle
- 180ml light soy sauce
- peel of 1 orange
- 6 organic turkey wings
- Peel and slice the shallots and sweat off in a small pot with the oil for three minutes or until translucent. Slice the shiitake and add to the shallots. Cook for a further five minutes, then season and let cool slightly.
- Once the shallot mix is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a chopping board and roughly chop. Transfer this back into a steel mixing bowl and crumble through the black pudding. Work this mixture together until it is well combined.
- Bring the Shaoxing wine combined with all the other ingredients, except for the wings, up to the boil. Turn the stock down to a simmer, then add the turkey wings. Keep cooking the wings in this liquid at about 85 degrees for about 40 minutes, depending on the size of the wings.
- Let the stock come back to room temperature before removing the wings and placing them into a flat-bottomed tray. Gently pull out the two bones by gripping them and giving a slight twist while placing pressure on the top. The bones should slide straight out.
- Now make a greater incision under the skin along the same line of the bones to create a pocket. Stuff the black pudding mixture into this pocket, spoon two measures of the stock over the top of the wings then place a light weight on top and put them in the fridge for one hour. This works in a few ways. It creates a flat surface to crisp up well when cooking. It allows the meat to soak up more of the stock to help with caramelisation. And it also sets the filling ahead of the next cooking process.
- To finish, place the wings skin-side down in a non-stick pan with minimal oil over a medium heat for six minutes. Turn the heat off under the pan before flipping them over and letting the residual heat finish the cooking.
This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Mar 23, 2019 as "Talking turkey".
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