Here’s a story that’s become something of an annual tradition on The Lo-Down since we first brought it to you five years ago.
If you’re looking for something a little different for Thanksgiving, why not let Chinatown do the work for you? There are a few places (namely BBQ meat specialists) who will roast a turkey much the same way a roasted duck is prepared.
We were first turned on to this idea in 2010 by Mark Bello of Pizza a Casa, the pizza-making school on Grand Street. Our go-to-spot for this service is a place called J.J. Noodle at 19 Henry St. (at Catherine Street).
Here’s how it works. You take them a turkey a couple of days before Thanksgiving (they are open on the holiday). The cooks hang the bird in the kitchen to make sure the skin is as dry as possible. It’s then marinated in Chinese spices, soy sauce and wine before being roasted in two different ovens. The turkey is then hung up (usually alongside a few whole pigs) until you’re ready to pick it up. It’s true — the white meat is a little bit dry. But the skin is very crispy and the meat has a wonderful, smokey flavor. Every time we’ve served a “Chinatown turkey” it’s been a big crowd pleaser.
J.J Noodle charges $2.25/pound to roast a turkey. If you’re interested in giving it a try, you can give them a call at 212-571-2440. One last note. The restaurant will chop the turkey up in small pieces just like a duck or chicken if you don’t give them other instructions. So if you prefer an American-style bird carved in slices, you’ll need to take care of that part yourself.