I rang my butcher to order a large turkey buffet yesterday, (the turkey breast with the chest cavity, but no legs). A little late I know, but I know my butcher well enough for him to help me out.
I am the member of the family who takes on the tradition role of cooking the turkey, complete with pork mince stuffing full of gherkins, nuts, fresh herbs and spices. It has been my “thing” for ten years. So this year, when my butcher said to me “Do you really want to do a turkey or maybe you should think about doing a couple of turkey breasts?” I was a little taken aback. I have never seen myself doing those “pre-prepared turkey” things.
I have a fairly traditional streak at Christmas. I love the old family ways of putting the turkey together. I developed my turkey recipe when we lived in London at the age of 21, from all the English recipes around me, and have been praised for it every year. So forgive me if I was a little taken aback by the idea that my large, exciting, (if messy, tiring and long) turkey-cooking part of my Christmas Eve might be coming to an end.
Instead, my butcher said I could make my stuffing for which I am famous, and bring it to him and he would stuff several turkey breasts that look like this. He says he sells 7 turkey breasts now for every one turkey that he sells. I asked my family who were all unpeturbed by the change. “The breast is the best bit” they said, inviting me to take up my butchers’ suggestion. Apparently each turkey breast is 1.8kgs which sounds plenty adequate for one family meal when shared with prawns and salads.
I have to say, I am reluctant, but perhaps convinced this could be my easiest turkey cooking year yet. No messy carving of a carcas, or wasted turkey attached to the bones. No grotty oven from bacon and turkey splatter. The idea is growing on me every minute. But I would love to know your thoughts. Big traditional turkey because that’s what I’ve always done… or turkey breast, and a rest?