Steve Manfredi’s Christmas Roast Turkey

“For many of us, Christmas is the most stressful time of the year, especially if you’re hosting a family get-together,” says Steve Manfredi, owner/chef of Osteria Balla, The Star, Darling Harbour. “Much of the stress is due to the pressure of cooking for so many and preparing that large, festive bird, the turkey.Turkey is a logical choice for feeding large numbers – the average weight is about six kilograms – but the bird’s huge size presents a few problems for modern cooks and modern kitchens. Not least of these challenges are large bird, small oven; large bird, small serving platters; large bird and the lost art of carving; and the conundrum of sacrificing overcooked breast for just-done legs. “At Balla we roll flattened parts of the breast into cylinders so we can cook each portion to order. At home it’s better to cook the whole breast with the stuffing under the skin so it can be carved at the table.”

Inroduction

About this Recipe

By: Sheridan Rogers

“For many of us, Christmas is the most stressful time of the year, especially if you’re hosting a family get-together,” says Steve Manfredi, owner/chef of Osteria Balla, The Star, Darling Harbour. “Much of the stress is due to the pressure of cooking for so many and preparing that large, festive bird, the turkey.Turkey is a logical choice for feeding large numbers – the average weight is about six kilograms – but the bird’s huge size presents a few problems for modern cooks and modern kitchens. Not least of these challenges are large bird, small oven; large bird, small serving platters; large bird and the lost art of carving; and the conundrum of sacrificing overcooked breast for just-done legs. “At Balla we roll flattened parts of the breast into cylinders so we can cook each portion to order. At home it’s better to cook the whole breast with the stuffing under the skin so it can be carved at the table.”

Ingredients

  • Turkey buffe 1, preferably organic, weighing 2 – 3kg, skin-on
  • onion 1, peeled and finely diced
  • garlic 8 cloves, minced
  • butter 100g
  • breadcrumbs 2 1/2 cups
  • Italian mustard fruits 60g, finely chopped
  • parmesan cheese 100g, grated
  • flat leaf Italian parsley 1 cup, leaves only chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Braised Zucchini
  • onion 1 small, peeled and sliced
  • garlic 2 cloves, minced
  • zucchini 500g, cut into thin 2mm discs
  • whole peeled Italian tomates 150g, chopped
  • flat leaf Italian parsley 1/2 cup, leaves only, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil 4 tablespoons
  • salt and pepper to taste

Serves 8-10 To make the stuffing: make a pocket between the skin and the breast flesh by running your fingers gently under the skin to pull it back but leaving it sealed at the edges of the breast. Make the stuffing by lightly frying the diced onion and garlic in the butter until they are soft but not burnt. Pour this mixture into a bowl containing the breadcrumbs. Add the mustard fruits, parmesan, chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and stuff the turkey breast in the pocket between the skin and the flesh. Cover the skin with a little olive oil, season on top with salt and pepper and roast in a preheated 170C oven for 70 minutes till golden. Pull it out and rest for 10 minutes, covered loosely with foil before carving. Serve with braised zucchini. For the braised zucchini: fry the onions, zucchini and garlic in the olive oil for two minutes at high heat, keeping them stirred so they don’t colour. Add the tomato and simmer for 15 minutes. Now add the chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Simmer for a further 20 minutes until most of the liquid has gone. Check seasoning before serving. Serves 6-8 as an accompaniment to roast turkey.