Mushroom Turkey

It’s a real Thanksgiving turkey, without the Turkey of course. Although because it’s a bit flat, I always get teased that it’s a Thanksgiving duck (I don’t get teased about the flavor!)

This is an absurdly fussy recipe, but not actually at all difficult. I make this the night before the holiday so that it had time to rest in shape / flavors meld a bit. Real turkeys seem to be difficult to cook too, and this recipe is delicious, healthier, and doesn’t require the poor turkey to be killed.

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Thanksgiving Turkey!

Base:

  • 2 lbs assorted mushrooms – I used maitake, shiitake, oyster, hedgehog, chanterelle, and black trumpet
  • 3 cups lentils
  • 2 cubes “not chicken” vegan bouillon
  • 2 packages mushroom stock (check ingredients to make sure no meat products)
  • 1 packages of Hodo Soy fresh yuba

Filling:

  • 1 leek
  • 4 shallots
  • 1 sweet onion

Baste/Glaze:

  • 8 oz earth balance butter
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp powdered garlic
  • 1/3 cup tamari

Assembly:

  • Cheesecloth
  • Butcher’s twine

To make:

Rinse lentils and add to pot with 1 package mushroom stock, water, and bouillon cubes. Cook on medium-low heat until falling apart. Blend briefly with immersion blender, set aside.

Wash leek well, trim, and cut in half; put some olive oil in pan and add leek, cut side down. Peel and slice onion and shallots; add and caramelize on medium heat. Turn heat to low and allow leek to soften slowly – add some water or mushroom stock.

Wash mushrooms in salt water (I soak and rinse them 2-3 times which brines them a bit as well); slice into small pieces. Add olive oil and salt to a large saucepan on medium-high heat; add mushrooms and sautee for a few minutes to soften and allow them to release their water. Add remaining mushroom stock and cook on medium or low until reduced. Strain mushrooms but reserve liquid from cooking; add cooked mushrooms to lentil blend and mix until incorporated.

Add reserved mushroom liquid, earth balance butter, nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic, and tamari and cook on medium until reduced by half. Set aside.

Spread out a large sheet of parchment paper, and a large sheet of cheesecloth on top. Carefully remove the packaging from the yuba (taking care not to cut the yuba), and delicately unfold the yuba sheets – if you are careful not to rip, they will unfold into a large sheet. Take the large sheet and cover the cheesecloth. Spread about 1/3 of the lentil-mushroom mixture onto the yuba into an oblong shape (it should only cover a smaller rectangle with room on each edge, but you can just push the mixture in while shaping if you made too much). Put the leek + onion + shallot mixture in the middle, and add some lentil-mushroom mixture on top to seal. Wrap entirely with yuba sheet – there should be enough to not have any lentil mixture showing, otherwise it’s overstuffed. Wrap again with cheesecloth. To make turkey legs, make smaller versions of the exact process, although you can roll/wrap the yuba so that there is not too much excess on one side. Wrap each package in cheesecloth. Take butcher’s twine and cut long pieces (2 extra long, 3 medium) – carefully pull 3 medium width-wise, 2 extra-long lengthwise underneath turkey “body.” Tie ends. Do the same for Turkey “legs” – less twine is needed, and can be wrapped and tied. Transfer all packages to fridge to set overnight.

Create a steamer by placing a cooling rack over a pot of water set to boil (I used a dutch oven). Place Turkey “body” and cover with foil – steam for 20-30 minutes, carefully turning over halfway through. Switch with Turkey “legs” which can steam for 15 min. Place on baking sheet or roasting pan – preheat oven to 400F and baste with the reserved glaze. Keep roasting and basting at 5-10 min intervals for 30 minutes. Arrange on a platter with garnish, in the shape of a turkey with extra “legs” on a separate plate. Enjoy!

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