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Turkey is actually a relatively rare ingredient in Italian cooking, and you’ll rarely see whole turkeys being cooked outside of the holidays. However, turkey breast is a highly versatile ingredient, and very popular among Italian chefs. Here are some of our favourite turkey recipes, Italian-style.
Turkey Tonnato (Serves 6)
This is a great cold turkey dish, perfect with baked potato, salads or picnics. Mixing turkey with fish will give you some really surprising flavours. It’s also a great way to use up roast turkey leftovers.
First, juice half a lemon. Take 3 tbsp of the lemon juice and put it in a mixing bowl with 2 egg yolks and 1 tsp of mustard powder. Using an electric egg whisk froth up the mixture while gentle pouring in 200ml of sunflower oil and 100ml of olive oil until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper. This should give you a thick mayonnaise.
Using a food processor, pulse 185g of tinned tuna in sunflower oil, 5 anchovy fillets, 3 tbsp of capers and the rest of the lemon juice until creamy. Put the pulsed fish in a bowl with the mayonnaise and mix together, adding a little boiling water to thin the mixture if necessary.
Pour a little of the sauce into a large, deep baking tin. Layer 1kg thinly sliced cold turkey on top of the sauce, pouring another layer of sauce over that. Add more sauce, and repeat in alternating layers, keeping some of the sauce in reserve for serving. Cover the tray with tin foil and leave in the fridge for several hours.
Serve this dish at room temperature in a large, flat serving dish. Add the reserved sauce. You can also add olives, lemon slices or capers for decoration.
Turkey with Cream and Tarragon (Serves 4)
Tarragon is a hugely popular herb among Sienese chefs and it’s really good at bringing out turkey’s flavours. This is a simple, straightforward turkey recipe to show you how well these ingredients go together.
Take 200g of cooked white turkey meat cut into strips. Melt a large knob of butter in a large frying pan and add 1 tbsp of dried tarragon reconstituted with an equal amount of boiling water. Stir in 100ml/4fl oz of double cream and boil until it starts to thicken. Throw in the turkey strips, warm through, then taste. Season with salt, pepper and 1tsp of lemon juice. Serve with hunks of crusty white bread and a dry white wine.
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