fabulous roast turkey with chestnuts
Courtesy of my pals at BBC Good Food, I have just received a new recipe today which can come in handy for your upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey roasts. Here it is my friends. My father's legendary recipe, which also includes a chestnut stuffing, shall come up very soon. The combination of the porcini mushrooms with chestnuts (with which I fell in love with as a child in Greece and thoughts of them brings me back to the streets of Athens where you will find typically Romas and the elderly selling them) is such a beautiful marriage. My only issue with this recipe is the use of foil during the roasting. I'm adamant on using roasting bags, which really keeps those juices circulating during the cooking process and the end product is so much more flavourful.
FOR THE STUFFING
* 150ml Madeira or white wine
* 20g pack dried porcini mushrooms
* 2 onions , halved and sliced
* 25g butter , plus extra
* 15g pack thyme , use the leaves and reserve the stalks
* 2 x 454g packs Cumberland sausages , skins removed
* 200g pack whole cooked chestnuts (I used Merchant Gourmet)
* zest 1 lemon (halve and reserve the rest to use for the turkey)
* 15g pack flat-leaf parsley , chopped
* 85g fresh breadcrumbs
* 10 rashers streaky bacon
FOR THE TURKEY
* 1 onion , quartered
* 4.5-5.6kg/10-12lb bronze turkey , giblets removed (to use in stock)
* 85g soft butter
* 1 whole nutmeg
* 10 rashers streaky bacon
* 125ml glass Madeira or white wine
* watercress sprigs, to garnish
Prep 20 mins, cook 4 hrs
1. First make the stuffing. Pour the Madeira or wine into a bowl, then crumble in the mushrooms. Fry the onions in the butter for 10 mins, until golden. Cool, then mix with the thyme leaves, the mushrooms and their soaking liquid, and all remaining ingredients, apart from 8 of the chestnuts and the bacon. Season well.
2. Set aside half of the stuffing. Line a greased 500g loaf tin with bacon. Pack the rest of the stuffing into the tin, then bring the rashers round over the top and secure in place with cocktail sticks. Use the reserved chestnuts to fill the spaces where the bacon meets. Chill until ready to cook. This will keep in the fridge uncooked for 2 days or can be frozen for up to a month.
3. Prepare the turkey. The night before, put the onion quarters, reserved lemon halves and thyme sprigs in the cavity between the legs. Pack the reserved stuffing into the neck end. Secure the neck skin with skewers and tie the legs together. Weigh the turkey. Calculate the cooking time at 40 mins per kilo, plus 20 mins.
4. Put a large sheet of extra-wide foil in a large roasting tin and put the turkey on top. Smear the breast with the butter, then grate over half of the nutmeg and season well. Cover with bacon, then pour over the glass of Madeira or wine. Seal the foil well to make a parcel. Chill overnight.
5. On the day, take the turkey out of the fridge 1 hr before roasting. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Put the turkey in the oven; then, 90 mins before the end of cooking, remove foil and bacon, and drain off the juices from the tin to use in the gravy. To test whether the turkey is cooked, push a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh - the juices should run clear. If they are pinkish, cook for 15 mins more, then test again.
6. Transfer the turkey to a platter, cover with foil, then a couple of tea towels, and allow to rest for at least 30 mins before carving. Meanwhile, cook the stuffing loaf for 30 mins and reheat the bacon. Garnish with watercress and serve the stuffing loaf separately.
PER SERVING (FOR 10)
871 kcalories, protein 86g, carbohydrate 24g, fat 46 g, saturated fat 17g, fibre 0g, salt 3.01 g