Chef's recipe: roast turkey, with sage
Sudhanshu Nirmal, executive chef at the Aloft Al Ain, explains why even a little bit of sage will make a big difference to the tastiness of your turkey dinner this Christmas. “Sage is a very versatile herb. It has a very strong character with loads of aroma. It has a particular warmth and density of flavour, which works magic in this festive favourite.”
Christmas turkey (Serves eight)
Ingredients and method for turkey
100g softened butter
2g star anise
5g cracked pepper
100g navel orange
For the turkey marinade, whip softened butter with the chopped thyme, spices, salt and pepper, and push the mixture under the skin of the turkey’s breast and legs. Marinate overnight in the fridge.
Stuff the cavity of your bird with the carrot, onion and orange, and then truss using a trussing thread and needle.
Also truss the feet together, so that they overlap.
Place the turkey in a pre-heated oven at 162°C, with a piece of aluminium foil loosely covering the breast meat.
Cook for two hours, basting occasionally.
Remove the foil and increase the temperature to 210°C.
Continue cooking for the next 40 to 45 minutes, basting more regularly.
Use a probe thermometer to check the internal temperature in the thigh meat, which should be 73°C or above.
Once done, remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for approximately 10 to 15 minutes before serving it along with all
Ingredients and method for roast vegetables
200g sweet potatoes
200g green beans
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
150g clarified butter
Prep and cut your vegetables into rough batons.
Season with salt, pepper, fresh thyme, rosemary and a bit of clarified butter.
Cook in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 minutes and then increase the temperature to 210°C for a further five minutes.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate.
Keep the vegetables warm until you are ready to serve them with your turkey and trimmings.
Ingredients and method for stuffing
200g veal loin
90g chicken breast
2 slices sourdough bread
Pinch of salt
50g cooking cream
100g white onion quarters
100g button mushroom, chopped
30g chicken seasoning
100g cooked chestnut, peeled
Blend the veal, chicken and sourdough bread with salt. Once the meat is finely minced, gradually add the butter and cream. Transfer the mixture into a bowl, place over ice, and mix in the rest of the ingredients.
Lay a piece of cling film on your kitchen counter and use it to create a roll out of your stuffing.
Cook this in a steamer for 20 minutes. Cool down in ice water and refrigerate.
Ingredients and method for cranberry sauce
2tsp shallot brunoise
Dash of olive oil
250g fresh cranberries
100g frozen cranberries
Pinch of salt
10g orange zest
100g cranberry jelly
Sauté the shallots in a saucepan with olive oil until they are completely translucent.
Add the fresh and frozen cranberries, sugar, salt and orange zest, and continue to cook on a low heat until the berries macerate – for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Then add the cranberry jelly and cook further until it thickens slightly (about 12 to 15 minutes on a low heat). Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.