Helene An’s Turkey Stuffed With Sticky Rice

November 13, 2018 Updated: November 13, 2018

Turkey Stuffed With Sticky Rice

When Helene An fled from Vietnam to America during the Vietnam war, she took with her family recipes that were near and dear to her heart. One of them was her mother’s sticky rice stuffing, which has found its place at the literal center of a new tradition: Thanksgiving turkey. Read more about An’s story here

Serves 8

For the sticky rice:

  • 2 cups long grain sweet or glutinous rice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1/4 pound (about 1/2 cup) ground chicken or turkey
  • 2 links Chinese or Italian sausage, diced
  • 1/2 cup roasted chestnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons diced fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 carrot, cut into thin slices
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Maggi seasoning sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

For the turkey:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 whole (10-pound) turkey, giblets removed and discarded
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 1 white onion, cut into large dice
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled

To make the rice: Put the rice in a small bowl and cover it with water. Set the rice aside to soak overnight. After it has soaked, drain the water from the rice. Add the salt, sugar, and coconut oil and mix well. Steam the rice until it is soft, or cook in an electric rice cooker with 1 1/2 cups of water. Set aside.

Heat the canola oil in a medium skillet or wok over medium heat. Saute the onion and shallots until they are lightly golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the ground poultry and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sausage and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to brown evenly. Stir in the chestnuts, mushrooms, carrots, salt, pepper, Maggi sauce, and fish sauce and continue sauteing for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sticky rice and mix well. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, mix the lime juice and zest with mayonnaise. Set aside.

Place the turkey breast-side up in a large roasting pan. Stuff the cavity with the sticky rice. Rub the mayonnaise mixture evenly over the turkey’s skin then season the turkey liberally with salt and pepper. Arrange the thyme, rosemary, sage, orange, onion, and garlic cloves around the turkey in a roasting pan. Roast for 2 1/2 hours or until the juices run clear and an instant read thermometer registers 160°F when inserted into the meatiest part of the breast. (The temperature will continue to rise after the turkey is removed from the oven. The final safe temperature should be 180°F.) For a crispier skin, raise the oven temperature to 500°F and watch the turkey closely to prevent the skin from burning. Once the skin reaches a golden brown color, immediately remove the turkey from the oven. Allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes before slicing.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “ӑn: to eat, Recipes and Stories From a Vietnamese Family Kitchen” by Helene An.