Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Stove on Sunday: Barefoot Contessa's Truffle Butter Turkey

Thanksgiving always holds a special place in my heart after spending it with friends in Massachusetts, back in 2005, so my mum always tries to create a pseudo Thanksgiving dinner for me.  Our guilty pleasure is American TV chef Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa.  We love her and her recipes as well as finding some of her idiosyncrasies quite irritating.  Her poor husband, Jeffrey, only ever seems to be cooked chicken because it's his favourite and she says "How good is that?" an awful lot.  On the build up to Thanksgiving, the Food Network were running all of her Thanksgiving episodes, including this rather indulgent recipe for truffle butter turkey.  We decided to test run this for a potential new way of cooking our turkey at Christmas, as it's no secret that it's not the most delicious of poultry.

Ina only used the crown of the turkey rather than the full thing, which we never do, as some of the more tasty meat is the dark meat in our eyes and cooking without the bones can make it dry also.  However, we decided for the sake of the test run, we would just use the crown too.  After all, we're not really American and it's not really Thanksgiving to us, so a whole proper turkey seemed a little bit extravagant for a Thursday evening.

You will need:
Turkey Crown (or whole Turkey)
3 oz Truffle Butter
Fresh Thyme
Some Black Garlic (this was our own addition)
Olive Oil

How To:
1. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and pat dry with paper towels
2. Release the skin from the meat carefully, so as not to tear and begin to place the truffle butter underneath.  We actually mixed our truffle oil with standard butter instead.  We also had black garlic recommended to us by a friend, so we also placed a few cloves of this under the skin too.
3.  Press your hands across the turkey skin in order to evenly distribute the butter.
4.  Season with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil across the meat before placing into the oven at 325 degrees F for approximately three hours, remember half way through to cover the turkey with foil so as not to burn the skin.
5.  Serve with your favourite roast vegetables.

On tasting the meat it was a little dry, which we attributed to the fact we were just using the crown but it was quite impressively flavoursome considering it was cooked without the bones and the dark meat.  It had a richer taste than usual but it did not overpower.  Considering we spent somewhere near the region of £70 for our turkey last year and it didn't taste as delicious as this one we figured that we could actually get away with purchasing a much cheaper turkey and instead cook it in this manner to ensure the flavour.  To ELLE and Back brings you another credit buster, in the form of a turkey dinner, of all things!

We also took on board Ina's table decoration ideas...

"How good is that?" *wink*


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