Turkey is not just for Christmas. It’s also perfectly fit for a late summer dish of turkey breast escalopes doused in cream of chanterelles.
Is turkey sold all year round?
Turkey is not just for Christmas though many British butchers seem to think so. It is difficult enough to buy a turkey breast outside November / December, let alone a whole beast.
Indeed, I might be peculiar in my need of a whole turkey in the middle of the summer, which I needed to roast and shoot – meaning photograph of course. But even bits of turkey are hard to come by.
And there should be enough demand for turkey steaks, turkey thighs, or wings and drumsticks for the most glorious chicken soup made of turkey.
Especially that you can happily buy cooked turkey breast slices all year round from all the supermarkets. It makes you wonder: do they prepare them all after Christmas and package on trays to be sold next September? I shudder to think that could be the case.
How can you cook turkey meat?
I wish there were more turkey around as it’s such good source of lean protein and an escape route if you get bored with chicken.
Turkey can pretend it’s veal and turn into escalopes or even scaloppine. It can be schnitzelled with the result of fewer calories on your plate than if it was pork.
It can make a good casserole after chicken would long disintegrate.
Not sure whether it’s too expensive: once you manage to buy your turkey steaks, they don’t cost a fortune. And it is not because there are no battery turkey farms, unfortunately: some are raised in intensive sheds and fed round the clock, the facts that don’t gather as much attention as battery chicken.
If we bought and ate less meat but better quality – and higher price – that would obviously change but it’s a subject for another occasion. For now: where’s my turkey? Let’s have some!
Turkey and chanterelles
This is a ridiculously easy and really impressive dish, worth chalking up for a special occasion. The rub is, as much as it’s difficult to buy turkey in late summer or autumn, getting hold of wild mushrooms is harder still.
Chanterelles are sometimes available from French markets or from specialist online shops unless you’re lucky, live in Scotland and go out foraging.
Can you substitute cup mushrooms for chanterelles?
Try as you might – and you’re welcome to – the same delicious result won’t happen with ordinary mushrooms.
It will still be a lovely dish, especially if some nice organic cultivated oysters or baby shiitake can be used, but the flavour of chanterelles is in my view unsurpassed.
Or actually, surpassed only by ceps/porcini/penny buns which are harder yet to get.
An easy and impressive dish
Cooking the turkey steaks with chanterelle sauce couldn’t be easier: flatten, dredge and fry. Then sauce. Then combine.
You can serve them with rice, small plain pasta shapes like orzo or orecchiette, mash or a baked potato. So good, it’s fit for a king. At Christmas.
More turkey recipes
Another easy recipe for turkey steaks: pan-fried and coated with crushed pink peppercorns.
And even for Christmas, it needn’t be a whole turkey. Check out the delicious stuffed turkey roll made with a breast fillet.
Okay, here comes full works too: brined and roasted Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey.
More wild mushroom recipes
Chanterelles on toast is a dreamy, autumnal brunch. Lightly cooked in butter and piled on toast, wild mushrooms are the best.
If you’re fortunate enough to procure some fresh porcini, you may choose not to cook them at all: fresh porcini salad with raw fungi.
But if you can only get dried wild mushrooms, don’t despair: you can still make this gorgeous spelt risotto with dried porcini.