Chaya was in charge of the test kitchen’s Christmas menu this year, so there was only one way the turkey was going to go flavour-wise. The use of pineapple and sugar in the gravy is such a winning way of getting a sticky caramelisation and keeping everything wonderfully juicy. Any tendency the bird has towards dryness will be offset not only by taking the Creole route, but also, and crucially, by the quality of the turkey you buy – we got ours thanks to Copas Turkeys, whose high-welfare, free-range birds are very, very special.
Prep 20 min
cucinare 3 ora 20 min
Servi 8, with plenty of leftovers
50g fresh oregano sprigs, leaves picked (to get 30g), stalks reserved
4 red chillies (80g), tritato grossolanamente
12 spicchi d'aglio, pelato
50g tomato paste
1 tbsp smoked paprika
60ml bourbon whiskey, più 2 tbsp (30ml) extra for the gravy
Salt and black pepper
1 x 6-7kg turkey with giblets
200g shallots, peeled and cut into quarters
2 x 220g tins pineapple pieces in juice
500ml pineapple juice
1 tbsp light soft brown sugar
3 Limes, one cut in half, the others cut into quarters
Scaldare il forno a 200°C (180Ventilatore C.)/390F/gas 6.
Put 135g ghee in a large food processor, then add the oregano leaves, chillies, aglio, tomato paste, paprika, bourbon, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper. Blitz smooth, scraping down the bowl as you go, then set aside at room temperature.
Put the giblets in a 38cm x 32cm lipped baking tray, add the oregano stalks, shallots, tinned pineapples and their juice, the extra pineapple juice and the sugar, and lay a rack on top.
Pat dry the turkey, then rub the remaining ghee all over the outside. Season inside and out with two teaspoons of salt and a good grind of pepper. Stuff the ghee and bourbon mix in the cavity with the two lime halves, tie the legs together with butcher’s string, to hold in the stuffing, then put on the rack.
Roast for an hour, rotate, then baste with the tray juices, and repeat every half-hour for another two hours and 20 minuti, or until the juices run clear. (If you have a probe, it should read 74C.) If the turkey starts to get too dark after an hour, cover with foil and take it off for the last 20 minutes of cooking time.
Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for at least 30 minuti, so any juices from the bird drip down into the tray beneath.
Using a spoon, scrape the oregano mixture out of the cavity and into the tray, then lift the turkey on to a platter or carving board and cover again loosely with foil. Remove and discard the oregano stalks and giblets from the tray, then scrape up any bits stuck to the base of the tray. Add the remaining two tablespoons of bourbon, then return to the oven for 15 minuti, until the sauce is bubbling and thick.
Pour into a jug or bowl and serve with the turkey and fresh lime wedges.
The ridges on cassava provide a high ratio of crisp shell to fluffy interior, so there’s no need for any wizardry here. The duck fat makes this extra-special, but olive oil also works really well, if you’d prefer to make this vegan. You can get ready-peeled and frozen cassava from Asian food shops.
Prep 20 min
cucinare 45 min
3 medium cassaa roots (1.8kg)
8 spicchi d'aglio, skin on
80ml duck fat, fuso
For the salsa
50g coriander, tritato
70ml olive oil
1½ tbsp lemon juice
2 red chillies, deseeded, flesh finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
Cut the cassava into 5cm-long pieces, then cut these in half and, using a small sharp knife, peel off any brown and pink skin, leaving you with only the white part of the root. Cut out the woody vein in the middle of root, then put the cassava pieces in a bowl.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, then drop in the cassava and cook at a furious boil for 25 minuti, until a knife goes through it easily and it is no longer opaque. Nel frattempo, heat the oven to 240C (220Ventilatore C.)/475F/gas 9.
Drain the cassava well and put on a large oven tray lined with greaseproof paper. Pour the duck fat over the cassava pieces, scatter in the garlic cloves and sprinkle over half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Stir to coat everything, then roast for 15 minutes and remove from the oven. Spoon the garlic cloves on to a small plate and leave to cool. Using a large spoon, smash the cassava pieces, turning them over in the fat as you go, then return to the oven for another 10-15 minuti, until crisp and golden.
Once the roast garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze all the flesh out of the skins, then chop it finely. Put this in a small bowl with all the salsa ingredients and a half-teaspoon of salt, mix to combine and set aside.
Spoon the roast cassava into a large shallow bowl, spoon half the salsa on top and serve with the rest on the side.
This is inspired by collard greens braised with ham hock from the U South. This quick version uses some of the hock in the onion base to add salty, hammy undertones. The dish is quite rich, so the pickling liquid helps to balance things out.
Prep 20 min
cucinare 25 min
Servi 4-6 as a side
400g rainbow chard (or swiss chard), leaves and stalks separated
100ml apple cider vinegar
Sale e pepe
50g dried cranberries
50ml olive oil
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
4 spicchi d'aglio, peeled and thinly sliced
50g coriander, 10g leaves picked, the rest roughly chopped
200g ready-cooked ham hock, torn into chunky pieces
2½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
First make the pickle. Weigh out 80g of the most vibrant-looking chard stalks and cut them into ½cm-thick slices. Put the vinegar, honey and a quarter-teaspoon of salt in a small saucepan, stir to combine, then bring to a simmer. Drop in the chopped chard stems and cranberries, take ioff the heat and leave to cool while you get on with the rest of the dish.
Nel frattempo, cut the remaining chard stems at an angle into 5cm-long pieces. Put a large saute pan on a medium-high heat, aggiungete l'olio e, quando è caldo, add the onions, aglio, chopped coriander, a quarter of the ham, a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, e cucinare, stirring frequently, per 15 minuti, until the ham is slightly crisp and the onions are lightly golden. Add the cumin and mustard seeds, the raw chard stems and the rest of the ham, e cucinare, mescolando, for three minutes more, taking care not to break up the ham too much. Roughly tear the chard leaves and stir into the mix in batches, until just wilted.
Ladle the chard and ham mix into a shallow bowl, scatter the reserved picked coriander leaves on top, spoon over a third of the pickle and serve with the rest on the side.
Fiona Beckett’s drinks match I rather fancy a Manhattan with this, but it is Christmas, so I guess we’d better talk wine – and a big red at that. I’d be inclined to go for a GSM (grenache syrah mourvedre) blend or a shiraz. Try the spectacular Domaine de L’Agly Les Cimes 2017 (£17 larger Co-ops, 14.5%), from the Roussillon, o il Château Millegrand Aurore Minervois I mentioned a couple of weeks ago (£10 also at the Co-op, 14%).