A little while back the lovely Rob from Morton’s Traditional Taste sent me one of his enormous free range, organic turkeys to muck about with. I cooked him up – well, I got my Mum to because I had to work that day – and carved it when I got home, then proceeded to have an absolute whale of a time (turkey of a time???) for a week using up the leftovers.
I’d say that if there’s one key thing I’ve learned from this particular experience, it is that the smell of turkey frying in butter and garlic is hard to beat. And once you’ve tried turkey meat fried in butter, you’re not going to want to do it any differently ever again. God damn you, butter.
Be warned, these are not recipes but suggestions, ideas and inspirations. I’ll tell you sort of loosely and lazily how I did things in the hope of inspiring you to muck about in the kitchen post-Christmas yourself.
This was a favourite, and done in various ways. I think this particular dish was crispy fried aubergine with dark turkey meat and just so much butter and so much garlic. I made a couple of other pasta dishes – one with cream, one with yoghurt – and they were all lush, but using loads of garlic and cooking it softly softly in the butter is, in my opinion, the secret.
I was very proud of this idea.. brown turkey meat fried in (yeah you guessed it) butter and garlic, then mixed with soft sweet potato mash, formed into patties; eggwashed, breadcrumbed and fried. Served here with caramelised roasted leeks and a rocket and pomegranate salad.
This is based on a recipe called Bang Bang Turkey from a book I cannot for the life of me remember the title or author of, my apologies. My Mum made it on Boxing Day years ago and it became a firm favourite for me. Cold turkey in spicy, peanutty satay sauce served with lettuce, cucumber and spring onion. So refreshing after the ridiculous amount of consumption you put your body through on Christmas Day!
A really really really stripped back roast. Just turkey, potatoes – I do mine hasselback because they look impressive and that extra surface area does wonders for taste, it’s just like how grated cheese tastes better than sliced – and greens. And a homemade gravy if you can stretch to it, almost always worth doing.
My obsession with fried sandwiches right now knows no bounds, so obviously I had to try this. Initially I had hoped to publish it as a recipe, but it all got too messy and it just was not internet advice appropriate. If you’re gonna go down this route, I strongly advice getting the turkey into a nice white sauce with some grated nutmeg to moisten it up and make it taste ridiculously Christmassy. Also very welcome is brie, crispy bacon and cranberry sauce.
So that’s about the size of what I did with my turkey. Will you try any of this nonsense this year? Let me know in the comments.
When it comes to buying your turkey this year, please do give your attention to small producers like Morton’s who are treating their birds with respect before slaughter, make sure you check out their website for more info.