Last Updated on
Christmas in a Parcel – Turkey Breast Paupiettes with Opies Pickled Walnuts.
#Ad: Written in Conjunction with Opies
It’s that time of year again! The festive season when everyone else seems to be planning a feast for 500 or so. For those of us with small families, though, I’m sharing some of the options around for Christmas lunch and, I’ve been working on one of my favourite festive turkey recipes from last year to make it even better this time around and making turkey breast paupiettes. I like working with turkey breast because it is low in calories (around 150 calories per 100g of turkey breast) and fat (less than 3g) and packed with good nutritional things. It’s also a relatively low carbon footprint meat – less than beef, lamb, farmed salmon or even cheese. So, if like me, you are trying to follow a flexitarian lifestyle, it’s not a bad product to use. Last year’s turkey parcels were wrapped in bacon and stuffed with packet stuffing. This year, I’m poshing things up a bit, though still using store cupboard ingredients, to make these stunning turkey breast paupiettes stuffed with homemade pickled walnut, apple and sage, wrapped in serrano ham and served with a PX and pickled walnut sauce. Opies Pickled Walnuts are one of those magic ingredients that you can keep in the larder until you have a special occasion. Then, bring them out to serve with cheese and crackers or to add to a rich beef or venison casserole and you’ll find yourself exalted as a super-Foodie. They are quite unique, slightly sweet, soft and pickled with great depth of flavour.
I have to confess to being rather pleased with this recipe. I based the stuffing on a Delia Smith recipe for pork stuffed with pickled walnuts but used light brown rye bread with fresh sage from the garden and played around with the quantities to make a mixture that I thought would work with the turkey. I really like the addition of pickled walnuts to what is a classic apple and sage stuffing mix and I’ll be using it again to stuff pheasant and partridge.
Turkey has a tendency to be dry so wrapping it in ham is a trick to keep it moist in the oven. The PX and pickled walnut sauce was made using my own homemade chicken stock, this time roasting the chicken carcass and adding veg to make a cheat demi-glace mixture with much more flavour than standard chicken stock to stand up to the PX (Pedro Ximenes) sherry and pickled walnuts. If you don’t want to make your own stock then you could use a shop-bought liquid stock or a stock cube. Just make sure you are careful with the seasoning as bought stock cubes can be very salty. And, if you really don’t like the sweet-sour notes that PX gives this sauce, you could make it with port or red wine too.
I served the dish with roast potatoes and steamed buttered Brussel sprouts, to be totally seasonal. But, you could substitute the vegetables of your choice of course.
The end result is a lot posher and grander looking than the ingredients suggest and would work brilliantly for a small family Christmas lunch. Turkey escalopes are currently £3.99 for four in my local supermarket! But, it’s delicious and you can make the same paupiettes with chicken breast too, so I can see myself making a variation on this through the winter.
Here’s how you do it.
Turkey breast paupiettes - An easy recipe that would work well as a Christmas or Thanksgiving lunch for a small family.
- 2 Turkey breast escalopes
- 5-6 slices Serrano ham
- 1 tablespoon poultry fat
- 3-4 Sage leaves, diced finely
- 1 Banana shallot, peeled and diced
- 3 Opies pickled walnuts, drained and chopped
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced finely
- 1 small Egg (lightly beaten)
- 80 g Fresh breadcrumbs
- 15 g Butter
- 1/2 Lemon (juice and zest)
- 2 Banana shallots diced very finely
- 15 g Butter
- 75 ml PX sherry
- 225 ml Chicken stock
- 1 Opies pickled walnut, drained and carefully sliced
Melt the butter in a small pan
Gently sweat the shallot until it is soft and translucent
Mix together the breadcrumbs, apple, lemon sage and walnut
Add the shallot and butter and season with pepper and a little salt
Stir through the egg
Cover and put to one side
Lay each turkey escalope on a sheet of cling film and cover with a second sheet
Beat with a rolling pin to flatten out the meat to around 1/4cm thickness
Place the filling in the middle of each escalope
Pull up the sides to make a rough parcel
Lay out two slices of serrano ham to make a square
Put the turkey parcel in the middle and pull up the sides of the ham
Top with a third slice, draping the meat over any gaps so that the turkey is completely wrapped up
Either fasten with toothpicks or with butcher's twine (I find the twine easier as you can adjust it to hold your parcel in place)
Put the parcels in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.
When you are ready to eat, heat the oven to 175-180C
Melt your poultry fat in a roasting tray. Add the paupiettes and baste well. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes, checking and basting occasionally.
Gently soften the banana shallots in butter till very soft and slightly golden at the edges
Add the PX and Chicken stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer till the sauce is reduced by 50% and looks slightly sticky
Season with salt and pepper.
Carefully stir through the pickled walnut slices and keep warm till the turkey paupiettes are ready to serve
To serve, cut and remove the twine or toothpicks and plate up. Pour the sauce over, sharing the pickled walnut slices so each diner gets 2 slices or so. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Best of all, you can make the paupiettes and the sauce up in advance. Freeze the paupiettes before you cook them and either freeze or keep the sauce in the fridge for 2-3 days before you add the pickled walnut slices.
It’s the kind of festive treat I really enjoy – the Opies Pickled Walnuts just make the whole dish quite decadent and a PX sauce with a few pickled walnuts is a lush treat that I think I might use with other roast meats too. We do love Opies products here at London-Unattached. Apart from turkey breast paupiettes, we’ve made an excellent peach melba tart using their peaches in Courvoisier that would make a great alternative to Christmas Pudding. For starters and for some inspiration about wines to serve with Christmas do check out our Gravadlax recipe and Christmas wine suggestions
If you’d like to give my recipe a try, why not pin this post for later.