As with many other families in the United States who celebrated Thanksgiving, we also celebrated the holiday by having turkey as the main dish. However, unlike with many other families out there, we did not deep fry, brine or bake the turkey. Instead, we roasted the turkey inside a La Caja China Box, or Chinese Box. In addition to the turkey, we also threw some ducks in there too. Well, you might as well, with all the space you have in the box and the fire you have anyway. It all started with Thanksgiving two years ago, when I asked Hubby if we could try roasting turkey or duck in the Chinese Box. It was also for me to get a supply of cooked turkey in the freezer, but nevertheless, the experiment was a success. The turkey was tasty, moist and tender, and the skin was crackling between bites. The duck was also phenomenal. As evidenced by one of our cousins who was dining with us last year. She stared at a piece of duck, with crispy and glistening skin, and you could see she was debating whether she was going to help herself with the duck. Then she stated “This is so bad for me, but it is sooo good…”; all the while, she was piercing her fork into the piece of duck.
So this year, we did our turkey and duck the same way as the past two years. We had our family with us, so that there would be plenty of food to go around, and Hubby had his grandkids helping him out this time. The preparation could not be more simple. The seasoning was simply salt, black and white peppers. That’s it!
We also use the vegetables just like when we roasted the chickens. Bell pepper, celery, lemon, apple, garlic, onion and cilantro. However, there were extra fruits for the ducks, namely pineapple and oranges. The idea of the pineapple started last year, as I was thinking that the pineapple might be good for the ducks, and indeed it was. This year I threw orange in there as well, since it would not hurt anything.
The turkeys and ducks were rinsed and patted dry. Then, they were about to be seasoned with the salt and ground peppers.
Turkey was next….
Then Hubby, with the help of one of his grandsons, prepared the box and put the vegetables and fruits on the tray inside the box. Notice the charcoal tray sitting on the handle of the Chinese Box, ready to be lighted. For more a more detailed, step by step of this cooking process, please check on my previous post on the Roasted Chickens.
The vegetable tray, with the concentration of pineapple and orange slices in the middle of the tray. It is actually a grease tray, but I just inadvertently called it vegetable tray.
The grate was put down on top of the vegetable tray, and the ducks were lined up above the oranges and pineapples.
The the two turkeys were put on either side of the ducks, all breast side down.
Then, thanks to Perry Perkins at Burnin’ Love BBQ, we tried the method of covering the birds with aluminum foil for the first 20 – 25 minutes to prevent excess burning. I could not find the specific post that I read, but if you are a BBQ lover, go check out his blog. Thanks Perry!
Ha ha… I just notice that Blake’s feet reminds me of a Ninja! 😀
Leaving a trail of excess foil on the edge of the box, Hubby and grandson covered the box.
Then charcoal fluid was squirted onto the charcoal piles.
Lighted the fire…
And the fire was feeding on the lighter fluid, oxygen, and the charcoal.
It was quite windy that day, as you can see how the fire was leaning toward the right.
After most of the charcoal was lit, the briquettes were racked to be distributed evenly across the surface of the lid. At this time also, Hubby lifted the charcoal tray just a little bit, and he pulled out the aluminum foil from inside the box.
After about an hour, it was time for the birds to be turned upside down. There was a little char on the back of the turkeys, but it was not bad. Notice that there wasn’t any char on the ducks at all. The turkeys were taller than the ducks, so they were closer to the heat source.
The birds were turned breast side up and the charcoal tray was put back on.
Then after another hour for the ducks and one and a half hours for the turkey, the birds were ready! Look how gorgeous they were!
So, what do you think? It was pretty simple right? Pretty straight forward, no complicated steps, other than you need two people to lift the charcoal tray. But, if you’re cooking a whole turkey, you probably are going to eat it with someone else.
The duck… cracking skin, very tasty, and tender. You would want a second helping after you taste your first bite.
The turkey… moist, flavorful, and aromatic. And guess what? I love the drumstick, as big as they were. They were very good. When I was putting away the left overs, I had to fight the urge to grab that last drumstick and eat it.
So, until our next mass cooking with the La Caja China. Good day!