Tuesday 18 December 2012

Yotam Ottolenghi’s marinated turkey breast with cumin, coriander, and white wine

Turkey isn’t just for Christmas dinner, and if you fancy something a little different to the traditional roast, try this fresher tasting alternative. It only uses the breast, so it's perfect if you're only 2-3 people.  This is from Yotam Ottolenghi's the cookbook. 

4 tbsp mint leaves (it really annoys me when recipes require teaspoons of a herb. One basil leaf is the size of – or bigger than – a teaspoon. Same for a mint leaf. I took a couple of springs, stripped and chopped them. 
4 tbsp parsley leaves (see above)
4 tbsp coriander leaves (and again)
1 garlic clove, peeled (one garlic clove? ONE??? Put in at least 2-3)
60 ml [about 3 oz] lemon juice (life is too short to measure out 60ml of lemon juice. Get your lemon and juice it.)
125 ml [about 4 oz] white wine (ditto; glug, glug and another glug for good measure)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
about 1kg turkey breast

Either put all the ingredients except the turkey breast in a food processor or blender and blitz for 1-2 minutes to get a smooth marinade or mash it up using a pestle and mortar. This latter option reduces the amount of washing up! If you are going to use the pestle and mortar too, add the wine at the end, only. Doing it this way results in a more chunky marinade.

Ottolenghi's marinade for roast turkey
Put the turkey in a non-metallic container and pour the marinade over it. Massage the marinade into the meat, cover the container and leave in the fridge for 24 hours or however long you have (only up to 24 hours – please do not cook or eat anything, especially meat, that’s been basking in your fridge for a long time!).

As a complete aside, I heard some about competition thing on the radio once, where people had to ring in and complete the sentence “you know your marriage is in trouble when…”. One of the entrants was “you watch your husband prepare the Christmas turkey, and you're jealous as the turkey is getting more action than you.” Ho ho ho.

The turkey breast, marinading 
Anyway, when you’ve marinated your turkey, preheat your oven to 220°C. It starts getting a bit diva-ish at this stage, as you've the change the temperature every 15 minutes for the next half an hour, so put a reminder on your phone to keep yourself reminded.

Ottolenghi says to remove the turkey from the marinade (keep the marinade for later) and put it on a roasting tray. I kept the turkey in the marinade and cooked it the way he suggests: put it in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, then reduce them temperature to 200°C. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature again to 180°C. Cook it at this temperature until the turkey is done — another 30-45 minutes. To check, the turkey is cooked, stick a small knife all the way into the centre; it should come out hot. If the meat goes dark before it is ready, cover it will foil.
The roasted, marinated turkey breast
If you decide to remove the turkey from the marinade, put the leftover marinade in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes, until reduced by about half. Taste and season with some more salt and pepper.

Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice it thinly and serve with the warm sauce.

I've also tried the sumac chicken from this book. 


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  2. When I make this I slice the breast open.I believe that is is the way it is ment to be made.