Caribbean turkey with spicy cornbread & chorizo stuffing
“Here you get Caribbean flavours in the juices. We used a small turkey, but a larger one will need more stuffing. The cornbread recipe makes enough for a larger one, so just increase the other ingredients. You’ll need to start this the day before serving. ”
Cooks In6H 20M plus marinating overnight & resting
For the marinade, mix the tamarind paste with 3 tablespoons of boiling water, crush the allspice berries, zest and juice the orange, finely grate half the nutmeg, pick the thyme leaves and roughly chop the bay. Combine these and all the remaining marinade ingredients in a bowl or dish that’s large enough to hold the turkey.
Place the turkey in the dish and rub the marinade all over. Cover with clingfilm. If you don’t have a large enough container, transfer the turkey to a large plastic bag and pour the marinade over it. Refrigerate to marinate overnight.
For the spicy cornbread, preheat the oven to 220ºC/gas 7. Line the base and sides of a 24cm x 24cm baking dish with greaseproof paper and grease the paper. Peel and chop the onion, drain the sweetcorn, deseed and finely chop the Scotch bonnet, then melt the butter. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes until softened. Transfer to a bowl, allow to cool, then add the corn and chilli.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, polenta, baking powder, sugar and 1 teaspoon sea salt, then stir in the onions. Stir in the milk and melted butter until combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and cut off any excess paper with scissors. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan. You can cook the bread the day before you eat and store in an airtight container.
For the stuffing, peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic, deseed and finely chop the Scotch bonnet, skin and roughly chop the chorizo and roughly chop the spicy cornbread. Drain and roughly chop the peppers, pick and roughly chop the coriander leaves, pick the thyme leaves and roughly chop the bay. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, scotch bonnet and chorizo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool then mix in all the stuffing ingredients.
For the rum butter, put all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined. Chill until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to its highest temperature. Remove the turkey from the fridge and place on a large board (reserve the marinade for basting). Carefully pack as much of the stuffing into the neck cavity as you can fit. Take some small metal skewers and pierce the skin on either side to close the cavity and keep the stuffing in. Put the remaining stuffing in a lightly greased baking dish and set aside in the fridge.
Halve the carrots lengthways, peel and slice the clementines, and halve the orange. Peel and cut the onions into wedges, and roughly chop the celery. Put the carrot, fruit, onion and celery in a large roasting tin then place the turkey on top. Rub the rum butter all over the turkey, season well, then brush with some marinade and place in the oven. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes at the highest heat then reduce the heat to 180ºC/gas 4, cover the turkey with foil and roast for 35 to 40 minutes per kilo, basting with the marinade every 30 minutes.
Remove the foil during the last hour of cooking so the skin gets crisp, and baste more frequently. You can use a meat thermometer to check if it’s cooked – insert into the thickest part of the breast; the turkey is ready when it registers 72ºC. Add the tray of stuffing to the oven for the last 15 minutes of cooking time, and bake while the turkey rests (45 minutes in total).
Transfer the turkey to a board (reserve the pan juices), and brush off some of the blackened marinade to reveal the bronzed skin. Cover with 2 layers of foil and 2 tea towels and rest for at least 30 minutes.
Chop the kale and boil in salted water for 5 minutes, till tender. Drain, reserving some of the water. Finely slice the chilli and peel and finely slice the garlic. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the chilli and garlic and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the kale, stir well then transfer to a serving bowl.
Next, make the gravy. Remove the excess fat from the reserved pan juices, then place the pan on a medium heat and stir. Add the flour and stir for a few minutes then add the rum, tomato paste and a little of the kale’s cooking water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until beginning to thicken. Strain into a jug.
Transfer the turkey to a serving platter, and transfer the extra stuffing to the open cavity. Carry to the table, carve and serve slices with stuffing, kale, gravy. Delicious served with mashed potatoes.