“The working title for this recipe was ‘turkey-hater’. I don’t actually hate turkeys but in my experience they are not the most delicious of birds. Over the years I’ve attempted many times to master the dreaded Christmas turkey and it’s always had my measure; the breast is juicy but the leg is tough or the breast is dry and the leg tender. But I think with this recipe I’ve finally had success.” You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 1 small turkey (about 4kg), at room temperature
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 5 juniper berries
- 4 cloves
- 3 pimento berries
- 1½ tsp white peppercorns
- 1 star anise
- 100 gm sea salt flakes
- 800 gm chorizo (about 5), coarsely chopped
- 10 golden shallots, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1½ lemons, or to taste
- For deep-frying: vegetable oil
- 150 gm potato flour (see note)
- 15 gm wild fennel pollen (optional; see note)
- 200 gm brown rice
- 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 150 gm natural almonds, coarsely chopped
- 4 bunches broccolini, trimmed into small florets
- 100 ml olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1Rinse turkey under cold running water and pat dry with absorbent paper. Carefully remove legs through the joint with a sharp knife and refrigerate legs until required. Remove backbone and wish bone (discard), refrigerate turkey buffe until required. (Alternatively, you could ask a butcher to prepare the buffe for you.)
- 2Preheat oven to 160C. Roast spices on a small oven tray, shaking occasionally, until fragrant and lightly roasted (8-10 minutes). Cool, coarsely grind in a mortar and pestle, then stir through salt. Place legs in a non-reactive container to fit snugly, scatter with salt mixture, rub into legs, cover and refrigerate overnight for flavours to develop.
- 3Place a large steamer over a large saucepan of water. Rinse legs briefly under cold water and pat dry with absorbent paper. Place on a piece of baking paper in steamer and steam until very tender (1-1½ hours). Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until required.
- 4Combine chorizo, shallot and 3 litres water in a large saucepan, bring to the simmer over low heat and skim occasionally until stock is well-flavoured (1-1½ hours). Strain through a fine sieve (discard solids) and set aside.
- 5Place turkey buffe in a saucepan large enough to fit snugly. Pour over stock to cover (add water if necessary) and cover with a round of baking paper. Bring to the simmer over low heat, then simmer for 10 minutes. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, remove from heat, set aside until cooked through (45 minutes-1 hour). Just before serving, remove turkey and thickly slice. Season stock to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice, keep warm.
- 6Meanwhile, for brown rice and broccolini, rinse rice under cold running water, place in a saucepan with 500ml water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil over high heat, simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until rice is tender (25-30 minutes). Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add almonds, stir occasionally until toasted (3-5 minutes). Stir though rice, broccolini, olive oil and lemon juice, season to taste, keep warm.
- 7Heat vegetable oil in a large deep-sided saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C. Dip turkey legs in cold water then potato flour and deep-fry until crisp (5-6 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain, and when cool enough to handle, shred meat (discard skin and bone), season to taste, keep warm.
- 8Divide rice mixture among bowls, top with sliced turkey breast and crisp leg meat, pour broth over and serve hot, scattered with wild fennel pollen.
Potato flour is available from select health-food shops. Wild fennel pollen is available from select delicatessens and online at
This recipe is from the December 2010 issue of
Drink Suggestion: The best well-cellared Hunter Valley semillon you can find. Drink suggestion by Max Allen
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