Friday, 14 September 2012

Pan-fried Turkey Breast in a Mushroom Cream Wine Sauce

Don't judge a book by it's cover - this recipe may look a bit 'busy' but it is absolutely delicious.

I've never been much of a fan of turkey. It's a dry old bird and should only be eaten under sufferance on Christmas day when you've already eaten twenty sausage rolls and wouldn't really fancy eating anything, so if you're not really hungry anyway turkey might as well do.

How wrong I am. I have just bought some turkey steaks and found them to be moist, delicious, low fat, slightly veal-esque, without the ethical issues, slightly pork escalope-esque, without the dullness issues and slightly steak-esque without the cholesterol issues. Without wanting to come across faddy and fickle: It's my new favourite meat! (what a surprise).

Oh, and in keeping with the low fat mishigas, the cream sauce is actually made with half fat creme fraiche. So there.

I don't know why turkey gets such bad press. The reason why they have a reputation for being dryer than an old flip flop is that it is almost impossible to cook an entire bird without some parts of it cooking longer than the others. The breast will NEVER take as long to cook as the thighs and legs. I suppose if you cooked it on the lowest heat possible, constantly basting it and then just grilled the skin to brown it you might be able to retain some moisture, but who has the time and/or inclination to cook a turkey dinner for ten hours? Not me.

At this coming Christmas, I've decided that I'm going to stuff the breast and roll it all prettily up and roast it, then cook the legs and thighs separately in a sort of casserole. That way, I have gravy for the whole dinner, and two delicious dishes, rather than a lot of leftovers from one big dish to make a million sandwiches with on Boxing Day.

Anyway, Christmas is still a long way off, so today's recipe is perfect for an autumn weekend feast. I served my turkey on a pile of slow-fried cabbage and onion (just braise cabbage and onion in olive oil, seasoning and nutmeg for an hour until all of the liquid evaporates - delish), and no potatoes, rice, pasta or other starches. You could almost say that this is a healthy meal. Almost.

Turkey breast steaks are really good value in my local supermarket - £5 per kilo is all; which means that today's dish comes in at a very reasonable £2.50 per serving.

Serves 2


500g turkey breast steak, cut into large pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
200g mushrooms, finely chopped
125ml wine - white or rose
100g half fat creme fraiche
Pinches of salt and pepper

Braised cabbage and onion, to serve (see note above)
Fresh parsley, finely chopped, to garnish

In a hot pan, sear the turkey breasts in the olive oil until slightly golden and set aside. Add the garlic and mushrooms to the pan and cook until soft and translucent (5 mins approx). Add the wine and reduce to burn off the alcohol (5 mins approx). Stir in the creme fraiche and return the turkey to the pan. Simmer until the turkey is cooked through the middle and the sauce is thick and unctuous. Pile some cabbage/onion onto the centre of the plate and top with the turkey and mushroom cream sauce. Sprinkle with chopped parsley immediately before serving.

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