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    Rowley Leigh’s truffled turkey

    “Turkey is terribly underrated: it is not just traditional, it is a rich and delicious meat that deserves the most luxurious treatment.” Rowley Leigh

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 25 minutes
    • Cooking time: 3 hours 20 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 45 minutes

    Serves: 8


    80g jar Urbani tartufi mushrooms in a white truffle paste
    50g unsalted butter, softened
    4kg turkey
    1 carrot, roughly chopped
    1 onion, roughly chopped
    2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
    200ml white wine
    500ml chicken stock
    1 tsp cornflour
    175ml marsala 

    For the stuffing:

    400g sausage meat (Rowley recommends a continental-style pork sausage meat)
    1 lemon, zest
    100g cooked and peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
    2 tbsp brandy
    50g parmigiano reggiano, grated
    Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
    30g jar Urbani black summer truffles, roughly chopped 


    1. Beat the mushroom and truffle paste with the butter. Push your hands between the skin and breast of the turkey to separate them and smear the truffle butter over the whole breast so it is completely covered.

    2. Next, prepare the stuffing. Remove and discard the skin from the sausages and put the meat in a large bowl. Remove
    the giblets from the turkey and cut the liver and heart into small dice; add to the bowl. Add the lemon zest, chestnuts, brandy, parmigiano reggiano and a good grating of nutmeg. Add the black truffles and the liquid from their jar. Mix well together, then fry a little a bit off and taste for seasoning.

    3. Place the stuffing in an ovenproof dish; refrigerate until needed. (Or stuff as much as you can into the neck cavity in front of the turkey breast and secure in place with cocktail sticks, or needle and thread; place any remaining stuffing in an ovenproof dish.) Cut off the turkey wing tips and set aside, then truss the turkey with kitchen string to keep the legs in place against the breast. Sprinkle the turkey with a little sea salt and plenty of ground black pepper.The turkey is now ready for the oven or, better still, the fridge overnight. 

    4. Preheat the oven to 200 ̊C, gas mark 6. Place the turkey in a large roasting tin. Cut up the neck and surround the turkey with the chopped neck and wing tips. Roast for 2 hours 30 minutes, basting regularly with the fat that runs into the pan. If the turkey skin starts to brown too much, cover with a sheet of lightly buttered foil and turn the oven down to 180 ̊C, gas mark 4.

    5. Remove the turkey from the oven. Carefully spoon the fat out of the pan. Scatter the carrot, onion and celery around the bird and return to the oven for 30 minutes.

    6. Check the turkey is cooked through by inserting a skewer between the drumstick and the thigh: the skewer should feel hot when it comes out and the juices should run clear; no pink meat should remain. Transfer the cooked turkey to a warmed serving dish, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for up to 1 hour – enough time to cook your stuffing (45 mins) and roast your potatoes and parsnips.

    7. Pour the wine and stock over the vegetables and scrape up all the juices from the tin using a wooden spoon. Place the tin over a medium heat on the hob and simmer gently for 15 minutes to reduce and concentrate in flavour. Stir the cornflour into the marsala and then whisk into the gravy. Simmer for 2 more minutes, then pour any juices that have collected around the resting turkey into the pan.

    8. Strain the gravy through a sieve, discarding the vegetables and giblets. Take the turkey to the table and carve, serving with the gravy and stuffing.


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