Festive recipe: Roasted turkey roulade with caramelised figs and aji baby potatoes

Add a twist to your holiday dinner with a roulade instead of a whole roasted bird

From Thanksgiving to Christmas, turkey is a must-have festive dish. Try this recipe by Mark Gil Licuanan, head chef at Hotel Cartagena
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Holiday season is here, which for many means weeks of cooking and hosting is on the horizon, be it traditional treats or new takes on nostalgic favourites.

In this series of seasonal dishes, we ask chefs from the UAE's top restaurants to share their favourite festive recipes.

Turkey roulade from Hotel Cartagena

Filipino chef Mark Gil Licuanan helms the kitchen at Hotel Cartagena. This Christmas, he suggests adding a little twist to your table by preparing a roulade instead of a whole roasted turkey.

“The term originates from the French word rouler, meaning to roll and, like a braised dish, a roulade is often browned then cooked with stock,” the Filipino chef tells The National.

“While a roulade usually comes with fillings such as vegetables, cheese or meat, I have made this recipe a bit simpler by stuffing it with herbs. Adding these guarantees both a good aroma and great taste, and ensures the flavour of the turkey will be superior. I have also paired it with figs, which give sweetness and sourness to the dish, as well as cleansing the palate.”

Roasted turkey roulade with caramelised figs and aji baby potatoes

Serves eight to 10

Ingredients and method for the turkey jus

  • Turkey trimmings (bones, wings, neck)
  • 80g garlic
  • 250g brown onion
  • 500g carrots
  • 100g celery
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 100ml stock
  • 10g salt
  • 5g black peppercorns
  • 50g thyme leaves
  • 400ml water
  1. Roast the turkey trimmings in the oven at 220ºC for 30 minutes.
  2. Rough-chop all the vegetables, then saute with the olive oil until caramelised.
  3. Add the roasted turkey trimmings and stock.
  4. Add the salt, black peppercorns and thyme leaves, and saute for another minute.
  5. Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce by half.
  6. Strain the liquid into another pot using a sieve.
  7. Reduce the jus again until thick, then set aside until serving time.

Ingredients and method for the caramelised figs

Figs offer depth to savoury dishes, bringing sweetness and sourness. Photo: Unsplash / Rezel Apacionado
  • 2 figs
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves
  • 50g caster sugar
  1. Cut the figs in half.
  2. Heat the pan, add the butter on slow, and caramelise the figs.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar, cloves and sugar, and reduce the liquid until it thickens. Set aside until serving time.

Ingredients and method for the aji baby potatoes

  • 75g aji Amarillo paste
  • 125g condensed milk
  • 5g Worcestershire sauce
  • 400g baby potatoes
  • 250g red onion, julienned
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 100g balsamic vinegar
  • 50g caster sugar
  1. Put the aji Amarillo paste, condensed milk and Worcestershire sauce in a mixing bowl and make sure they are well incorporated. Set aside.
  2. Boil the baby potatoes until cooked through.
  3. Saute the red onion with olive oil until translucent.
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar until the mixture caramelises.
  5. Toss in the baby potatoes with the aji Amarillo sauce, topped with the caramelised onions.

Ingredients and method for the turkey

  • 5kg whole turkey
  • 75g parsley
  • 75g coriander
  • 30g garlic
  • 30g ginger
  • 750ml olive oil
  • 5g salt
  • 3g black pepper powder
  • 25g chilli flakes
  • 75ml lime juice
  • 25ml white vinegar
  1. Debone the turkey, making sure all the bones and soft tendons are removed.
  2. On a flat surface, even out the meat in thickness by using a kitchen meat tenderiser.
  3. Finely chop the parsley, coriander, garlic and ginger
  4. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, salt, black pepper, chilli flakes, lime juice and white vinegar with the chopped vegetables.
  5. Rub the mixture with the turkey meat and let it marinate for two hours.
  6. Roll the meat stuffed with the herbs mixture into a long round shape and tie it using kitchen twine.
  7. Sear it in a flat pan or flat grill until golden brown.
  8. Put it in a baking tray and cook in the oven for 25 minutes at 200ºC.

To serve

Remove the twine, and cut the turkey into thin slices, serve with the turkey jus, caramelised figs and aji baby potatoes.

Updated: December 22, 2022, 10:45 AM
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