Christmas special: When Turkey met Cranberry
Twenty four years ago, a fresh-out-of college chef Jaffar Ali made his first turkey. “I had seen one, but never cooked one,” he recalls with a laugh. And at 3.5 kilos, a heck of lot larger than a 1 kilo chicken, the sheer size of the bird presented a giant challenge. Fast forward to the present and Ali having whipped up turkeys everywhere from Seychelles to the Maldives and now Executive Chef at The Gateway Hotel IT Expressway Chennai get hands-on with how to go about the perfect turkey for your Christmas eve dinner. His pro tip: don’t pick a bird that is over four kilos, “The smaller the bird, the more tender the meat,” the chef makes our shopping at the meat shop sizeably more specific.
Roasted Stuffed Christmas Turkey
(Prep time: 2 to 2.5 hours, Serves 8)
Sliced mushrooms 200gms| Olive oil 20ml | Salt to taste| Bread 5 slices | Asparagus 100 gms | Sage and Rosemary 5 gms | Parsley 5 gms | Ground black
pepper 5 gms | Cranberry sauce 100 gms| Butter Ball Turkey 3 kgs | Carrot baton 100 gms | Potato batons 100 gms | Radish batons 100 gms
Butter 60 gms | Mushrooms 200 gms | Garlic 20 gms
Celery 50 gms | Onion 100 gms | Green peppers 80 gms | Eggs 3 | Minced chicken 250 gms
• Marinate the turkey with fresh herbs, salt, black pepper and olive oil.
• For stuffing: Take butter,melt, add chopped garlic, onion, celery, green pepper and sliced
mushrooms. Saute this mixture and add to chicken mince.
• Add fresh bread crumbs, eggs to the mince and keep aside for stuffing.
• Stuff the turkey with the mince mixture and roast it in a pre-heated oven at the high temperature of
200 °C till you get the turkey surface colour for 10 to 15 minutes and then reduce to 160 °C for 2 to 2.5 hours. Baste the turkey periodically once in 15 minutes until it is cooked. Once the Turkey is done clear juices run from the joints when pricked.
• Once the turkey is done, rest it for 30 minutes.
• Remove jus from roasting tray and add cranberry sauce to the jus. Whisk well and adjust the seasoning.
• Display the roast turkey on a tray along with roasted vegetables and cranberry swirl cream. Sprinkle with Christmas drunken fruits on the turkey.