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Easy-carve roast turkey with chestnut stuffing


Serves: 6-8, with leftovers
timePrep time: 40 mins
timeTotal time:
Easy-carve roast turkey with chestnut stuffing
Recipe photograph by Martin Poole

Easy-carve roast turkey with chestnut stuffing

Packed with all the classic Christmas flavours, this is a great, time-friendly way to approach turkey. Butchering a turkey is easier than you might think, but if you don’t feel confident following our instructions in step 1, there are easy-to-follow butchery video tutorials online

Serves: 6-8, with leftovers
timePrep time: 40 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (150g cooked turkey, plus stuffing)
Calories
646Kcal
Fat
33gr
Saturates
14gr
Carbs
33gr
Sugars
11gr
Fibre
3gr
Protein
54gr
Salt
1.5gr

Ruth Hansom

Ruth Hansom

Ruth's experiences with food and cooking as a girl led her to apprentice at The Ritz. She won the Young National Chef of the Year award in 2017 and is now head chef at The Princess of Shoreditch gastro pub in London.
See more of Ruth Hansom’s recipes
Ruth Hansom

Ruth Hansom

Ruth's experiences with food and cooking as a girl led her to apprentice at The Ritz. She won the Young National Chef of the Year award in 2017 and is now head chef at The Princess of Shoreditch gastro pub in London.
See more of Ruth Hansom’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 turkey crown on the bone (about 2.5-2.75kg), plus2 turkey legs, boned and rolled (or a 5kg whole turkey to prepare yourself)
  • 100g soft salted butter
  • ½ x 20g pack thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves
For the stuffing
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 200g rustic bread, such as white sourdough
  • 200g sausagemeat
  • ½ x 20g pack sage, leaves chopped
  • 75g dried cranberries
  • 100g cooked and peeled chestnuts, chopped
  • 250ml chicken stock (made with 1 stock cube)

Step by step

Get ahead
Prep to the end of step 3 the day before and keep chilled.
  1. If your bird is already butchered, go to step 2. To prepare your turkey crown and boned legs, Remove the giblets and bindings, then pat the turkey dry. Trim the wings so that just one bone is left attached to the body (see our kitchen tip below to make a turkey stock for the gravy).

    Stretch each turkey leg out to the side. Slice through the skin as far away from the breast as possible, leaving the maximum amount of skin covering the crown. Bend the leg away from the body until you hear the bone pop out of the socket. Insert the tip of a knife and cut through to remove the leg.

    To bone each leg, use the tip of a small knife to cut the meat away from the thigh bone, working towards the drumstick. Slice through the joint and remove the thigh bone. At the drumstick end, make a long cut all the way down to the bottom of the drumstick. Cut the meat away from the bone as before, then remove the bone completely and open the meat out flat to remove the spiky sinews.

    To finish trimming the crown, look for the natural line of fat that runs from the tip of the breastbone down along the base of the ribs – simply cut along this with sturdy kitchen scissors on both sides. Finally, flip the turkey over and cut out the backbone.
  2. For the stuffing, heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion for 6-8 minutes until starting to soften. Whiz the bread to rough crumbs (if you don’t have a food processor, you can tear or grate it), then put in a large mixing bowl with the cooked onion, sausagemeat, sage, dried cranberries, chestnuts and seasoning. Mix in the stock to form a wet dough, then allow to cool.
  3. Lay out the boned turkey legs on a board, skin-side down. Place some stuffing down the centre of each turkey leg and roll up the meat to enclose it. Wrap each leg in a layer of baking paper, then tightly wrap in foil. (If you can, do this step the day before cooking to allow the stuffing to set and give a better shape to your ballotine.) Roll the rest of the stuffing into about 12 balls and place on a baking tray. Cover and chill until ready to cook.
  4. Remove the turkey crown and the leg ballotines from the fridge at least 45 minutes before roasting. Rub the soft butter all over the turkey crown, season and place in a roasting tin. Tuck the thyme and garlic underneath the crown. Put the foil-wrapped ballotine legs in a separate roasting tin (roast these on the lower shelf).
  5. Preheat the oven to 230°C, fan 210°C, gas 8. Roast the turkey crown and ballotines for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6 and cook for a further 30 minutes.
  6. At this point, remove the ballotines from the oven (leave the crown to roast for a further 15 minutes). Unwrap the ballotines and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes to brown and crisp up.
  7. Insert a skewer into the thickest part of the turkey breast; you are looking for clear juices. If they still run pink, return to the oven for 8-10 minutes, then check again. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest, covered with foil, while you cook the stuffing balls in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Carve both the breast and the stuffed leg meat into slices and serve with the stuffing balls.
    Kitchen tip
    Making gravy? Roast the turkey bones and any trimmings with some onion, carrot and celery. When nicely browned and starting to caramelise, add some wine and stock to deglaze the roasting tin, then tip everything into a pan and simmer for at least 30 minutes to bring all the flavours together. Strain, cool and store in the fridge. Reheat and thicken with cornflour while the turkey roasts.

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