Turkey Facts - courtesy of British Turkey
- Turkeys were probably first brought to Britain in 1526 by Yorkshireman William Strickland. He acquired six birds from American Indians on his travels and sold them for tuppence each in Bristol
- 10 million turkeys were sold last Christmas. The average weight of a Christmas turkey is 5.5kg/12lb
- Turkeys originated from Mexico not Turkey
- The first meal eaten on the moon by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin was cold roast turkey
- Female turkeys are hens, male turkeys are toms and baby turkeys are poults
• Cool the meat rapidly before refrigeration, and keep refrigerated until needed.
• Avoid handling the meat too much - each time you do, bacteria is transferred backwards and forwards between your hands and the meat.
• Keep covered whilst being refrigerated.
• Never reheat any meat more than once. If it’s not used at this time then THROW IT OUT.
• When reheating make sure the meat is hot all the way through. Small pieces warm thoroughout more quickly than big pieces.
• If you have any doubt about the meat, THROW IT OUT!
Now try these three Turkey Salad recipes from Dr Peter Spencer, chef and academic at Sheffield Hallam University's International Hospitality Management Research centre...
:: Turkey salad with lightly curried mayonnaise ::
Nice turkey dinner
• 3oz - 75g mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon of mango chutney
• 1 level teaspoon of curry powder
• 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1. Cut leftover turkey into thin strips and mix with a cored, sliced red apple.
2. Mix in the curry mayonnaise.
3. Dress some salad leaves around a plate and sprinkle lightly with a little dressing (honey & mustard dressing goes very well).
4. Place the turkey and apple mixture in the centre of the plate and sprinkle with a few pine nuts, walnuts or pecans and a little chopped parsley.
5. Try this with a glass of chilled white wine - just the thing when you're feeling peckish but not too hungry!
:: Turkey and relish salad ::
• Strips of turkey breast (about 6oz - 150g)
• 2 beetroots cut into strips
• 1 dill pickle cut into strips
• Salad leaves and a suitable dressing (honey & mustard or similar)
1. Mix together the turkey, pickled beetroot and dill pickle.
2. Add a little dressing (check the seasoning, and add a little more if needed).
3. Dress the salad leaves onto a plate and sprinkle a little dressing over the top.
4. Place the turkey mixture in the centre of the leaves. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
:: Warm salad of turkey, mushrooms and bacon ::
This is a little more substantial than the first two and great for a late evening supper dish.
• 4oz (100g) sliced mushrooms
• 4 rashers of bacon cut into pieces (back or streaky)
• 6oz (150g) strips of turkey breast
• 1oz (30g) chopped onion
• salad leaves
• A little honey mustard dressing
• 1 slice of white bread and a little butter.
1. Cut the bread into thick strips and fry golden brown and crisp in the butter.
2. Add the bacon and onion to a frying pan and cook until they are just starting to lightly brown.
3. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for 2-3 mins.
4. Add the turkey breast and heat through for 2-3 mins.
5. Finally, add a little dressing and toss the whole mixture for 1 minute. Dress the leaves onto a plate and sprinkle with a little dressing. Place the warm mixture into the centre, sprinkle with the croutons and chopped parsley and serve immediately.
For complete success make sure that you do not overcook the turkey; it's only necessary to heat it through properly.
And for a warm and quite substantial rich and succulent meal, Peter suggests Turkey à la King. "Served with braised rice it's just the thing for a jaded appetite after all that Christmas food!"
:: Turkey à la King::
For four, you need...
• A turkey breast cut into thickish pieces - about the size of a two pence piece (collops)
• 1 finely chopped onion
• 1 sliced red pepper
• 1 small punnet of mushrooms
• Half a pint of whipping cream
• 1 glass of dry white wine (optional)
• 2 chicken stock cubes
• 2 cupfuls of patna (or long grain) rice
• A good knob of butter
1. Melt the butter in a thick bottomed pan that can go in the oven.
2. Add EXACTLY two cups of rice (full to the brim) and stir in to the butter.
3. Add EXACTLY three cups of water (this should be the same cup as used for the rice)
4. Add the stock cube and bring to the boil.
5. Place in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.
Polish it all off with a nice cocktail
The turkey mixture:
1. Melt a little butter in a thick bottomed pan, add the chopped onions and sliced pepper and cook gently until soft (for about 4-5 minutes).
2. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a further 3 mins.
3. Add the cream and bring to the boil. Then add the stock cube. (Add wine now if desired).
4. Boil vigorously until the mixture begins to thicken slightly - alternatively, if you would like it a little less rich, slightly thicken the cream with a bit of dilute cornflour.
5. Finally add the turkey pieces and reheat in the sauce (about 3-4 mins should be plenty). Add seasoning to taste.
6. Dish the rice on to warm plates (it will be light, fluffy and separate having absorbed all the stock) and spoon the turkey mixture alongside.
** Mmmm! Happy Christmas! **
Try out some more Christmassy recipes from JJ, the Gareth Evans Show chef. Just click on the link below.