On 25th December many households will be having a feast fit for a king. The main attraction in the centre of the table is often Turkey on this special day. However Christmas is a time to enjoy with family and loved ones. This recipe for turkey can be prepared in advance so all you need to concentrate on is enjoying the special day. This recipe has been adapted from a Tom Kerridge recipe. I saw him make this last year and could not resist trying my own version for Christmas.
2kg Turkey Crown (Ask your butcher to butterfly and take the skin off)
Ask Your butcher for the bones from the turkey
For The Stuffing For The Crumble Topping
800g Pork Sausage Meat 100g Pork Scratchings broken up
400g Onion, finely chopped 100g Breadcrumbs toasted
100g Cooked Chestnuts finely chopped 100g Pistachios, chopped
160g Breadcrumbs 50g Dried Cranberries, chopped
Handful Fresh Sage chopped 2tbsp Thyme Leaves
100g Dried Cranberries Zest of 1 Orange
15-20 rashers smoked streaky Bacon
For the Brown sauce For The Gravy
125g Pitted Dates, finely chopped Bones from the Turkey
1 Granny Smith Apple, grated 3litres Chicken Stock
¼ tsp Ground Allspice 150g Mushrooms sliced
¼ tsp Ground Ginger 4 Shallots sliced
¼ nutmeg, grated 2 Celery Sticks chopped
100g Soft Dark Brown Sugar Bunch of Thyme
75mls White Wine Vinegar 50g Butter melted
75mls Red Wine Vinegar 50g Plain White Flour
For the Brown sauce (can be kept for 2 months)
Put the dates, apple and spices in a bowl. Over a high heat in a saucepan dissolve the sugar with the vinegars. Once the sugar has dissolved pour the liquid over the dates and apple and cover the bowl with cling film. Leave to cool to room temperature.
Once the mixture has cooled pour into a saucepan over a very low heat. Simmer for 1 hour or until soft.
Blend the mixture until smooth and leave to cool completely.
Transfer to jars.
For the Gravy (can be made 2 days in advance)
Pre heat the oven to 180C/ Gas mark 4. Roast the turkey bones for 40 minutes or until browned. Once browned transfer the bones to a large saucepan with the chicken stock, mushrooms, shallots and celery. Bring to the boil then turn down to a low heat for 3 hours or until the liquid has reduced by one third. Turn the heat off and add the thyme. After 15minutes drain the stock through a sieve and leave to cool.
Cover and refrigerate. When you are ready to use, remove the fat at the top of the gravy. Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Mix the butter and flour together in a bowl and add to the gravy, stirring constantly to thicken. Season to taste.
For the Stuffing (Make one day in advance)
Preheat the oven to 120c / 250F/ Gas ½
Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft. Take off the heat and allow to cool completely.
Once the onions are cool, mix all the stuffing ingredients apart from the bacon together and season with salt and pepper.
Divide the mixture in two and keep half aside. You will need this for the turkey.
Line a terrine dish or flameproof bowl with streaky bacon, hanging over the sides.
Pack with the remaining stuffing mix and wrap the hanging bacon over the top of the stuffing.
Bake the stuffing for 45 minutes. Prior to serving place under a hot grill for 10 minutes or until the bacon is golden and crisp.
For the Turkey and Topping (Prep the day before, cook on the day required)
Preheat the oven to 120c / 250F/ Gas ½
Roll a large piece of cling film on a surface and place the turkey on top. Lay another piece of cling film on top of the turkey. Bash with a rolling pin to flatten the turkey to 1- 1.5cm.
Take the top layer of cling film away and season the turkey with salt and pepper. Spread the remaining stuffing mixture over the turkey.
By using the cling film to help you, roll the turkey up like a Swiss roll. Wrap the turkey roll with more cling film and secure with butchers string. The turkey will now resemble a Christmas cracker!
Add 400ml boiling water to a deep roasting tin with a wire rack . Place the turkey roll on the wire rack and cover the tin with tin foil. This will allow the turkey to steam in the oven, keeping it moist and juicy.
Cook for 1 ½ -2 hours. If you have a temperature thermometer the centre of the turkey should read 70C / 160F. Take out the oven and off the tray. Cover with tin foil (still in cling film) and leave to rest for 40minutes.
To finish off mix all the crumble topping together in a bowl. Unwrap the turkey roll from the cling film and brush lightly with the brown sauce. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the top.
Carve into thick slices and serve with the gravy and the extra stuffing.
Enjoy; and Merry Christmas!
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