Christmas is just a few days away, and it’s time to think about cooking a turkey, or a goose, stuffed or not, with chestnuts and vegetables, as well as wines to go with. For this Christmas, Chef Thierry Guineau proposes his favorite Christmas turkey, from Curnonsky book. A turkey garnished with chestnuts, and ham.
The turkey or ‘Hen from India’ was brought back by the conquistadors in the 17th century from America and not from India as they thought.
The date is historic and long before it was served at Thanksgiving in 1621 in America, it was served for the first time in France on November 26, 1570, a century earlier for the wedding of the young king Charles IX and Princess Elisabeth of Austria. Indeed, a ‘Hen from India’, imported by the Jesuit missionaries, was therefore served at the head table where Catherine de Medicis, the king’s mother sat enthroned. In Anglo-Saxon countries and France, there is no Christmas, without a turkey or a goose. If you choose a turkey for Christmas, it must be young, and before cooking it you must take off the nerves from the legs. If you choose a goose, take a farm goose of 5 kg maximum. Those reaching 10 or 12 kilos, are fatty and used especially for confits and for the Foie Gras.
Turkey or Goose with chestnuts
Preparation 2 hours
Cooking 1h45mn – 2hours
For 6 Persons
1 Turkey or 1 goose 1 Egg
2 to 3 kg 1 Garlic glove
Salt and pepper 25g of bread crumbs
1 dl goose fat 5cl of cream
1 onion 1 Sp of chopped parsley
2 shallots 1 goose liver
75 gr chopped ham 3 chopped apples
1 carrot, sliced 1 onion, minced
1 bouquet garni 100 gr of butter
125 gr diced raw ham 3/4 liter of chicken broth
1 kg of roasted chestnuts
Take well-fleshed poultry previously emptied and trimmed, keep the liver apart.
Finely chop the liver, put it in a large bowl with 1 onion and 2 chopped shallots, 1 small clove of crushed garlic, the soaked and pressed bread, 75 gr of lean ham, 1 half spoon of chopped parsley, 1 egg, a pinch of salt, a dose of pepper and 3 sour apples, finely minced or chopped.
Mix everything with a wooden spoon, introduce this stuffing into the goose, and then sew it.
Place the stuffed poultry in a roasting pan, brush the poultry on all sides with goose fat.
Add the carrots sliced, the sliced onion, a head of crushed garlic, a bouquet garni, and spread the vegetables around.
During cooking and when the turkey or goose takes a nice tan then deglaze with a glass of chicken broth. Add a glass of poultry broth to deglaze again. You will get a cooking base to make the sauce.
The chestnut garnish
1 kg of lightly toasted and peeled chestnuts.
With 30gr of butter, lightly brown 125gr of raw, lean ham, diced 7 to 8 mm per side. Add the chestnuts and three-quarters of a liter of poultry broth, bring to the boil, cover and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. At the end of the cooking, mix 50gr of butter divided into pieces.
Finishing touches and service
Debride and dress the poultry on a long dish, surrounded by chestnuts and vegetables. Pass the sauce through a Chinese to get a nice clean sauce.
Best wines: Médoc or Saint-Emilion, Graves, Côte-De-Beaune or Côte-De-Nuit, Châteauneuf-Du-Pape or Côte-rôtie.
From Curnonsky’s book, Cuisine et vins de France Larousse