Turkey Jook…

Jook, (or Congee) is a rice porridge dish.  “Congee” is Chinese, “Jook” is Korean, and it’s called “Canja” in Portugal! Basically, porridge is old fashioned and it’s everywhere.  My girlfriend likes it so I always make it after Thanksgiving. It’s especially good since my turkey was smoked, so that smoky flavor is in the scrap meat and bones which will make for a great stock (note, other good use for carcass…stock!)

That was the beautiful bird when it was done cooking.  And this is it after we mutilated it.

It will simmer with the carrots and celery to make a rich stock. You can break it into smaller pieces of course.  However, I don’t like picking out tiny bone fragments out of my jook, so i kept it whole.  The flavor still gets in there, don’t worry.

To add another dimension to the umami taste in this recipe, I add dried Shiitake mushrooms.  True, meat has umami flavors in it already, but mushrooms always improve dishes, especially soups. Other options are dried scallops, dried shrimp, or dashi stock.

The thickness of the dish comes from the starch in the rice. Some people like to add glutinous rice and regular rice.  I stuck with only short grain because it’s what I had, plus I already know it turns out great this way.  Whatever you do, don’t wash your rice. First off, I don’t know why people wash their rice anyways. You’re washing away all the powdered vitamins manufacturers add since rice is nutritionally void. For this purpose, it also washes away some of the starch.

Mmmmm thick hot, savory jook.  Can’t get any more like comfort food.  Oh wait, yes it can.  Sucking the meat and fluids from the turkey neck…..ahhh that’s more like it.

Turkey Jook

1 turkey carcass with some scraps on it
2 carrots
3 stalks celery
3 or 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 t minced ginger
8 c water
1 1/4 c white rice
2 T oil
2 c meat (if carcass doesn’t have enough)
fish or soy sauce (optional)

Over medium heat, saute celery and carrots in oil for 5 minutes. Add ginger and stir for 30 seconds. Add the carcass, water, mushrooms, and rice. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes partially covered. Stir in extra meat if needed.  Taste and adjust seasonings for preference.  I just added some fresh pepper as my turkey was salty enough.

If you want thicker jook, simmer a little longer


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