Andre_Nguyen.jpg
Andrea_Nguyen
A turkey's like a duck, but much, much bigger.
The turkey is a New World bird, which makes him especially suitable for the Thanksgiving

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Turn Your Turkey Over to Roasting Experts

Andre_Nguyen.jpg
Andrea_Nguyen
A turkey's like a duck, but much, much bigger.
The turkey is a New World bird, which makes him especially suitable for the Thanksgiving table, but Seattle celebrants have the opportunity to build their feasts around a distinctly Old World preparation.

"We roast turkey much like the way we roast ducks and pigs," says Franklin Chau of Rainier BBQ, the Rainier Valley Vietnamese restaurant renowned for its diverse line-up of edible animals. "Instead of baking it in an oven, we hang our turkey in our roasting oven after brining it. Our own mixture of sauces are applied within the turkey and then tied closed."

Chinese-style turkey is a holiday tradition in Vancouver, where the ritual reportedly dates back to an era when many immigrants didn't have ovens in their homes. The turkeys have also caught on in Los Angeles, where the most popular turkey purveyors serve their vinegar and soy-basted birds with sticky rice stuffing and sauce.

"The method was adopted out of logic," Chau says. "We already roasted chicken and ducks, so why not turkey as well?"

That same logic has led two International District mainstays to put turkey on their November menus. Kau Kau Barbeque does a brisk turkey business on Thanksgiving Day - "The restaurant was filled to the gills with turkeys in aluminum shrouds on the tables," a Yelp reviewer wrote last year - and 663 Bistro offers a turkey dinner special including fried rice, chow mein and vegetables.

"They offer to cook people's turkeys for $1.25 a pound, as in bring your Butterball in and they take it from there," e-mails Don Blakeney of the Chinatown-International District Business Improvement Association. "They recommend a 15 pound turkey, which tastes best the way they slow roast it."

And no matter which restaurant's doing the roasting, advanced planning is always recommended: The Yelper quoted above went home with a duck (although he claims it was so tender that none of his guests minded.)

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