Cheats' Turkey with Pistachio and Apricot Stuffing and Pancetta and Cranberry, Balsamic and Sage Sauce
Have no fear you cheats out there, you can have a very laid-back traditional turkey Christmas lunch of the highest order with very little effort and you won’t even have to get up early on Christmas morning.
We’re going to cook a turkey crown, which means breast only, but with the bone in to give extra succulence and flavour.
Serves 4 (with plenty of leftovers for Boxing Day)
All you need to do is place the turkey crown in a large roasting tin and then plaster the softened butter all over it and give it a good seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper.
The pancetta can be peeled away from its pack and simply placed on top of the turkey, but reserve 8 slices for the stuffing balls. Then just place the joint in the oven and cook it for 2 hours 20 minutes. Or, if you are cooking a smaller crown, work out the timings to 20 minutes per 1 lb (450 g). Either way, remove the pancetta after about 45 minutes, when it will be brown and crisp, and keep it in a warm place (or you can pop it back in the oven for a few minutes just before serving). During the remaining cooking time for the turkey, give the bird two good bastings and cover it with a 9-in (23-cm) square of foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, roughly chop the apricots and pistachios and mix them with the stuffing, then form the mixture into 8 even-sized balls. Next, wrap each stuffing ball in a slice of the reserved pancetta and put the stuffing balls on to a baking tray, lined with baking parchment, on another shelf (or the floor) of the oven for the last 30 minutes of the cooking time, turning them after 15 minutes.
For the Cranberry, Balsamic and Sage Sauce, all you do is combine everything in a small saucepan and whisk over a gentle heat until the cranberry jelly has melted. Season, then pour the sauce into a serving jug and leave till needed. When the turkey is cooked and golden brown, place it on a warm serving dish, cover with foil and leave it to relax for 15 minutes. You may like to pop the serving plates in the oven to warm now.
Now, to make a gravy, spoon off the fat from the roasting tin, place the tin on the hob over a medium heat, pour the wine in to join the turkey juices and whisk to amalgamate it all. Let everything bubble and reduce by about a third, season, then pour this into a jug. The turkey can now be served with the Cranberry, Balsamic and Sage Sauce handed round separately, plus the gravy.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F, (200°C).
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