Breast in show

How many times are people disappointed in the aftermath of their turkey dinner? The biggest grouch is always the fact that the meat was too dry. Secondly the size of the damn bird - it´s too darn big. What are we going to do with the massive amounts of left over meat? Turkey sandwiches, yes then curtains please, lets call it a day.The biggest problem with cooking turkey is that unless it is cooked properly it dries out. Here is the answer to both those problems. Last year in passing I mentioned two factors in my turkey post

"The Portuguese solution to counteract the dry and bland taste is  to steep it in a special marinade, the day before cooking".

"I noticed while shopping in my butchers in the days running up to Christmas that many Portuguese households get their butcher to joint the turkey. They opt just for a quarter joint or breast portions. This is such a great idea and avoids one having to think up the usual "101 ways with left over turkey" for days after the Christmas blow out"
So this year good old Yotam Ottolenghi to the rescue.Marinate 24 hours in advance and then an hour and half´s cooking with 15 minutes resting time and you have the most tender succulent meat with an unusual and piquant sauce. This means the Christmas bird gracing your  table will be juicier and better than Beyonce Knowles. Now that is a star act to follow.

Marinated turkey breast with cumin,coriander,white wine
serves 4-6
4tbsp mint leaves
4 tbsp parsley leaves
4tbsp coriander leaves
1 garlic clove,peeled
60ml lemon juice
60ml olive oil
125ml white wine
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Flor de sal
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 small organic or free-range turkey breast ( about 1Kg )
Put all the ingredients except the turkey breast in a food processor or blender and process for 1-2 minutes to get a smooth marinade. 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. Make sure the turkey is completely immersed in the sauce.
Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC/Gas mark 7. Remove the turkey from the marinade,keeping the marinade for later, and put it on a roasting tray.Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200ºC/Gas mark 6. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature again to 180ºc/Gas mark 4.Cook until the turkey is done- another 30-45 minutes.To check, 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 with foil.
To prepare the sauce, heat up the turkey marinade in a small 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.
To serve cold,leave the meat to cool completely and then slice. Adjust the seasoning of the sauce once it is cold and serve on the side.
If you do not have Turkey for Christmas but love the tradition of turkey sandwiches this is a perfect option.

All I would suggest when I cook it again:
Double the suggested  measure of Cumin
Cook it for half an hour at the starting temperature of 220, skipping the reduction to 200 F. This might help with a better browning.


  1. Oh wow! I wish I was having this this Christmas. Unfortunately I'm not in charge of the kitchen this year so it will be the damned dried-out horror again. Bah!


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