Chef's recipe: roast turkey, with sage

Turkey and trimmings
Turkey and trimmings

Sudhanshu Nirmal, executive chef at the Aloft Al Ain, explains why even a little bit of sage will make a big difference to the tastiness of your turkey dinner this Christmas. “Sage is a very versatile herb. It has a very strong character with loads of aroma. It has a particular warmth and density of flavour, which works magic in this festive favourite.”

Sage. Getty Images
Sage. Getty Images

Christmas turkey (Serves eight)

Ingredients and method for turkey

5kg turkey

100g softened butter

5g thyme

2g star anise

2g cloves

30g salt

5g cracked pepper

100g carrot

100g onion

100g navel orange

For the turkey marinade, whip softened butter with the chopped thyme, spices, salt and pepper, and push the mixture under the skin of the turkey’s breast and legs. Marinate overnight in the fridge.

Stuff the cavity of your bird with the carrot, onion and orange, and then truss using a trussing thread and needle.

Also truss the feet together, so that they overlap.

Place the turkey in a pre-heated oven at 162°C, with a piece of aluminium foil loosely covering the breast meat.

Cook for two hours, basting occasionally.

Remove the foil and increase the temperature to 210°C.

Continue cooking for the next 40 to 45 minutes, basting more regularly.

Use a probe thermometer to check the internal temperature in the thigh meat, which should be 73°C or above.

Once done, remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for approximately 10 to 15 minutes before serving it along with all

the trimmings.

Ingredients and method for roast vegetables

200g carrots

200g sweet potatoes

200g green beans

200g chestnut

200g pumpkin

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

5g thyme

5g rosemary

150g clarified butter

Prep and cut your vegetables into rough batons.

Season with salt, pepper, fresh thyme, rosemary and a bit of clarified butter.

Cook in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes and then increase the temperature to 210°C for a further five minutes.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate.

Keep the vegetables warm until you are ready to serve them with your turkey and trimmings.

Ingredients and method for stuffing

200g veal loin

90g chicken breast

2 slices sourdough bread

Pinch of salt

50g butter

50g cooking cream

100g white onion quarters

100g button mushroom, chopped

30g chicken seasoning

2g sage

100g cooked chestnut, peeled

Blend the veal, chicken and sourdough bread with salt. Once the meat is finely minced, gradually add the butter and cream. Transfer the mixture into a bowl, place over ice, and mix in the rest of the ingredients.

Lay a piece of cling film on your kitchen counter and use it to create a roll out of your stuffing.

Cook this in a steamer for 20 minutes. Cool down in ice water and refrigerate.

Ingredients and method for cranberry sauce

2tsp shallot brunoise

Dash of olive oil

250g fresh cranberries

100g frozen cranberries

30g sugar

Pinch of salt

10g orange zest

100g cranberry jelly

Sauté the shallots in a saucepan with olive oil until they are completely translucent.

Add the fresh and frozen cranberries, sugar, salt and orange zest, and continue to cook on a low heat until the berries macerate – for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Then add the cranberry jelly and cook further until it thickens slightly (about 12 to 15 minutes on a low heat). Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.


Read more:

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Updated: December 19, 2017 10:29 AM


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