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Nov 24, 2012 04:09 AM

I got a Chinatown BBQ turkey from Quic Pic

You drop off your turkey by the Saturday before thanksgiving (if it's frozen) or by Monday afternoon if it's fresh. You can also purchase one from Quic Pic. Then you arrange a pickup time, which can really be any time on Thanksgiving day. The price is $25 if you bring your own turkey. When you pick up they supply you with a room-temperature turkey in a to-go paper bag, plus a cup of juices and fat from roasting.

The final product was too salty. They brined the turkey for too long, I think, which resulted in it having a ham-like texture and level of saltiness. They also stuff the cavity with a salty spice paste and the whole thing does have a strong delicious Chinese spice flavor. (Same goes for the juices they supply, though if you dilute with water and thicken it makes a great sauce for rice). It's not edible in the same way a regular Thanksgiving turkey is, but if you serve at room temp, in small pieces, with hot rice, it's a lot like eating any other siu mei (hanging meat) type product. But it's still too salty. It's difficult to integrate into a regular Thanksgiving meal because the expectation is that the turkey will in fact be less salty than basically everything else on the table, and a totally unseasoned starch (or plain rice in general) is not part of the available dishes.

I did notice in the process that QP's Chinese name is actually "Fat Boy" (fei4 zai2 肥仔) which if you ask me would make a much better English name for a roasted meat restaurant.

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  1. Thanks for trying it. Too bad about the saltiness. Any pictures?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ScotchandSirloin

      It was brown, like any other well-roasted turkey, nothing particularly notable about the appearance

    2. I wonder how one can be sure that you're getting *your* turkey in return.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jgg13

        If you didn't trust them, you could make small inconspiuous scar in your bird before giving it to them...slice off 1/2"notch of wing or some such thing. Fishermen deal with a similar thing when turning in a fish for smoking or packing. Of course, if you don't trust the preparer, you probably shouldn't be taking your turkey or fish to them in the 1st place.

        Thx for taking 1 for the team. I kept walking by the sign at QPic and was tempted but went the traditional route.

        1. re: jgg13

          I dunno, it was the right size, and it didn't have a hole where most commercial turkeys have had a pop-up thermometer inserted. Otherwise I have no proof it was the one I brought them.

          1. re: Luther

            Right. As 9lives said it would be possible to leave a secret mark of some sort. I was specifically thinking of a case like yours (based on your post below) where one buys a fancy farm turkey and ends up with someone's mass market bird instead.

        2. Someone told me how the Italian place in his (formerly Italian) neighborhood in Roxbury used to do this. I think it was actually a bakery.. this was way, way back, maybe around the time of WWII or close after... people would bring their turkeys & they'd bake them (and you can be sure it was for MUCH, much less than the equivalent of $25). And, good question, jgg13 - one wonders how you'd know if you get *your* turkey back...

          I wonder if the turkey you bought had already been brined - major brands do this. If they brined it on top of that, it would explain the excessive saltiness. I will brine mine a bit, even if it's a regular brand, but I use much less salt, plus I add milk & spices in the brine.

          As a side for anyone who might rarely cook - I cooked a turkey one year over my son's place (didn't even have a pan the right size!) with little time to cook - use the 500 degree method (fan running, of course) and that time, I even cut it up to fit the pan (other times I cooked it whole). Came out amazing & is my go-to method now. A 12-15 lb bird takes about 1 1/2 - 2 hrs to cook if left whole (unstuffed, of course). Less if cut up.

          16 Replies
          1. re: threedogs

            My turkey was from a farm, where I've bought for several years. Not brined. I hate brine!

            1. re: Luther

              Mine was a cheapo local grocery store one, so I use a brine to improve the flavor. Ya do what ya hafta do... DEF would prefer a farm raised one - maybe next year I'll be able to do that. This year I settled (again!) since my daughter was very, very due (sure enough, she gave birth early - right before Thanksgiving!!)

              I really can't stand the taste, though, and hope next year I can get to someplace that is selling locally raised farm turkeys.

              1. re: threedogs

                For the last 2 years I've had my turkey from my meat csa (you have to already be on their plan to get the turkey) and it totally renewed my faith in fancier turkeys. I'd tried out 'farm raised' turkeys from WFM and Savenors and was ready to go back to butterball, and then blam - finally delicious turkey that requires almost no fuss. Even my turkey loathing family members like this turkey.

                1. re: jgg13

                  Can you share with us which CSA you use?

                  1. re: threedogs

                    oh sorry, chestnut farms. i know they have open shares, at least as of a couple weeks ago.

                      1. re: threedogs

                        Got mine from Mayflower aka Fresh Killed and it was great 24#

                        1. re: phatchris

                          I was near that store a few times & wondered about it! Wasn't shopping for meat (or poultry) at the time, so I didn't go in - I just might make a special trip. Their site says the turkey is "farm fresh", but doesn't give any other info.

                          While I really would prefer a free-range turkey from a particular farm, the reality is, I've checked those prices & I may not be able to afford the cost... but if I am cooking something once a year, I can at least plan ahead!

                          edit: Just realized how far away from the original posting I'm going - so I'm starting a new thread with these questions! second edit: looks like there are a couple of threads on this already - will refrain from posting yet again!! I'll ask my questions on the existing threads - been away from CH for awhile - need to catch up. :D

                      2. re: jgg13

                        Agreed - we've had a few Chestnut Farms turkeys now, I don't think I can go back. Even with the "extra care" they require (daily rinsing with fresh water, taking up fridge space for a few extra days, brining).

                        1. re: gimlis1mum

                          I haven't followed her directions, although it does take up fridge space a few more days than I was previously used to. Last year I picked it up on sunday, threw it in a brine tues night, took it out weds. This year i dry brined it monday-weds and just had it sitting out in the fridge weds.

                          1. re: jgg13

                            Good to know that you can skip the turkey-bathing :-)

                2. re: Luther

                  luther, for someone with your exacting mind, i am surprised you didn't talk to them in advance and ask them how they prepared it (not that i haven't done some version of this w/ something in my life ho ho.) Had they been rec'd by a friend?

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    No recommendation, curiosity just got the best of me after passing the sign in their window for years. I figured they would prepare it the same way they do a duck, which was indeed the case, except for the overboard brining.

                3. re: threedogs

                  hi three, were your ears just twitching? as i was reading along w/ your reply, I cried aloud (to My Love) "MIIILK??!!"... But then I saw your (most respected) name, so I figure you certainly know something I don't. I have seen buttermilk soaks for fried chicken and fried onion rings, and i know that yoghurt and buttermilk are acids that can break down meat fibers, but I've never seen a meat brine w/ milk; what's the deal?! thx much.

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    Ah, I stole that from my beloved (now passed away, sad to say). He swore by soaking chicken cutlets in milk for as long as possible, before breading & frying - said it made them sweeter, more moist. I could attest to those cutlets tasting fantastic - since it worked for chicken, I figured, why not turkey? I throw in all the herbs & spices I think we'll like, and just a tad bit of salt. So far, the turkeys I've cooked have been super-delish. This year I wanted to try buttermilk, but since my daughter gave birth in CT a few days before, I decided to go w/what we had in the fridge... I love being creative w/my cooking & baking! ;-)

                    This might be an old Italian way of preparing poultry - or, as he used to know all the meat & poultry sellers in Newmarket Square (the poultry place went out of business a short time after the owner passed away - cannot for the life of me remember the name - maybe *they* told him to do that... will never know...)

                    Edit: since I was rushing to CT for the early birth of my granddaughter, I opted to defrosting the frozen bird in the water method, with almost a gallon of milk added. It worked! That's all that matters... oh, and I have a beautiful, healthy baby granddaughter - now THAT'S what REALLY matters!!! :D

                4. Definitely not your usual Thanksgiving leftovers.

                  But it sounds like the carcass would make a great broth--for maybe a wintermelon soup?
                  And the leftovers, sliced super-thin, for banh mi type sandwiches.
                  Or stirfried with sprouts and noodles.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: femmevox

                    (Not sure if you were referring to me, or to Luther, femmevox)...

                    I *did* make turkey soup yesterday. Came out incredible - I guess because of the herbs the carcass soaked in. Hmm - didn't think of banh mi for leftovers - that's brilliant! Need to get to Arax to get some bread (they carry a brand that's made in Lynn that is, surprisingly, great for bahn mi - used to live there & was sad when the place was sold as their ciabatta was no longer great... but their french bread is very good for bahn mi.

                    Stir fry, no - it's falling apart too much. I discovered I had no kitchen twine after I deboned the bird, hahaha - so (my creativity stepped in) I had to use - potato nails - to hold it together.

                    Yep. Not your typical Thanksgiving turkey at all, lol... too funny. It came out... interesting-looking... and very delish. :D

                    1. re: threedogs

                      I meant Luther's brined five spice one, but am happy to hear about your leftover adventures as well.

                      Potato nails? You mean carved out of a potato and inserted? Or is this some technical term I'm missing?

                      1. re: femmevox

                        I'm betting they're long nails that you insert into potatoes to help them bake faster (the metal helps to conduct heat to the center of the potato.) My mom had a set of aluminum nails about 4" long that she used for that purpose.

                        1. re: Allstonian

                          Right, Allstonian. And they're thick, lol - at least if I had those skewers used for BBQ's - that would have been better. But, it worked out, that's all that mattered. Was a @#$@) getting them out after, though - they managed to hide themselves very well...

                          I used up the rest of our turkey this morning - made hash with the leftover turkey (not much) and turkey stuffing (mostly ground turkey, spices, milk (!) & a cup of breadcrumbs. (Todd English on Martha Stewart's show- video online) I used milk instead of cream, btw, to keep the fat level down... Wow, the turkey hash was almost worth making the turkey that way! Think the marinade gave the turkey an amazing flavor, too.

                    2. re: femmevox

                      Yeah it has the salt level of ham (so yeah, the winter melon soup) but the spicing of duck. So far has made some good stew.