Sunday, 7 February 2010

Playing Ghosts and Gobblings

Do people eat turkey just after Christmas? It is now February and I wonder if people do.

Now I noticed recently at the general store something specific: whole turkey drops in price after Christmas and yet people don't seem to be buying them. Strange really. When you think about how often people eat chicken in a year and contrast that to turkey, you have to wonder what people have against this bird most fowl.

Well, yes, eating turkey makes you drowsy, but so does wine. And do we only drink wine twice a year? Not in this household. If I remember my nutrition classes well, turkey meat contains tryptophans. After eating it, the blood carries it to our digestive system and then to our brains which then gets changed to serotonin. I know this is sleepy material but certainly you must have wondered why we get so tired at Thanksgiving.

Turkey is available whole both fresh and frozen but at any time of year at major grocers; I often buy either the legs or the breasts rather than whole. Depends really on how much time you have to cook it and how many people you intend on feeding. If buying breasts, remember that they come in different sizes and usually feed 4 or 5 people. Unless you're suffering from insomnia. Then all you need to do is eat an extra portion of turkey, start reading my blog and then you'll be over yawnder.

Hazelnut Crusted Breast of Turkey

2 Turkey Breasts
4 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 Cooking Onion, roughly chunked
1 Carrot, roughly chunked
1 Celery Stalk, roughly chunked
Small Bunch of Sage, chiffonade
Pinch of Paprika and Allspice
300 g Hazelnuts, finely chopped
400 ml Dijon Mustard, grainy if available
200 ml Maple Syrup
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Drizzle of Oil for Searing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine mustard, maple syrup and half the sage in a bowl and set aside.

Coat turkey breasts with touch of oil. Rub paprika, allspice and garlic on top. Let marinate for 10 minutes.

In a large frying pan, heat oil until very hot. Sear breasts on skin side only for 2-3 minutes.

On a roasting pan, lay out veggies evenly. Place seared turkey on top. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and coat with mustard mixture. Pat hazelnuts on top and cook for another 15 - 20 minutes or, using an instant read thermometer, until 155 - 160 degrees internal temperature.

Let rest for 10 minutes and slice.

Serves 8 - 10.

Variation: if you don't have hazelnuts, use either pecans or walnuts.

A Humble Chef's tip: serve with a sauce using the pan drippings and the Sour Dough Stuffing recipe from this previous post.

1 comment:

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