Roast Turkey with Chestnuts
From the one star french chef Patrick Asfaux
Cooking time :
Total time :
Turkey with chestnuts recipe for 6 to 8 people :
- 1 Young turkey of the year of 2.5 to 3kg (5.5lb to 6.5lb) with giblets and trimmings, roughly chopped. Count 20 mins of cooking time per kg for a free range bird.
For the stuffing
- 400g of pork belly
- 300g of pork fillet diced up
- turkey giblets
- 2 finely chopped shallots
- a small bunch of thyme
- salt, pepper and mixed spices
- 5cc of brandy
- 2 golden apples
- 400g of chestnuts (fresh, vac-pac or frozen)
- celery salt
- salted butter and peanut oil
The first tip to get a nice moist turkey when cooked is to get the stuffing right. In fact we will cook the stuffing before putting it into the bird.
1) In a large, but shallow pot heat up a small amount of cooking oil and a nob of butter and quickly stir-fry the liver for a minute then add on the shallots and sweat them off for 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and the thyme. Flambe the lot with the brandy and set aside to cool on a tray.
2) Using a food processor coarsely blitz the rest of the giblets and the pork belly with the sauteed liver and brandy mix.
3) Season well, add in the chopped pork meat and mix well all the ingredients with a wooden spoon until it becomes a compact mass.
Slowly incorporate 200g of chestnut avoiding to them to break too much apart.
4) Pre-heat your oven at 180 degrees Celsius (gas mark 6 / 350F).
5) Stuff your turkey with the stuffing and close it with some wooden cocktail stick.
6) In a cast iron pot, large enough to fit your bird in, heat up a little cooking oil and a nob of salted butter. Place your turkey on its side, then add the trimmings (neck, and wings chopped up) around it, cover and put it in the oven for 20mins. When 20mins have past turn your turkey on the other side and cook it for another 20 mins. Finally, put it on its back and cook it for another 20 minutes but without the lid. The most important thing to remember is to constantly baste the turkey during the cooking (every 10mins or so) and also remove some of the excess fat, replacing it with a little bit of water, this one will make our final "jus" (gravy).
Using a parisian scoop (melon scoop), make some balls out of the 2 peeled apples, pan-fry them in a bit of butter for a couple of minutes then carefully add the rest of the chestnut. Sprinkle with the celery salt and pour in a small amount of the gravy, set aside in a hot place.
Place the carved turkey in a nice long serving dish, leaving some space in the middle. Place the ball of apples and chestnuts around the centre of the dish and finally place the stuffing sliced in the middle of the tray. Serve the "jus" (gravy) separately in a sauce boat.
This traditional turkey with chestnut recipe, with a twist, will surely bring back this ancient dish under the spot light.
Our friends on the other side of the Atlantic can always replace the brandy in the stuffing with some good old-fashioned bourbon.