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The Perfect Winter dish

escalope of Turkey with Gruyere cheese, wild mushroom, spinach dauphinoise and purple sprouting broccoli

 

A nice winter dish and a lighter way to cook and serve turkey this is effectively a Cordon Bleu. It is a really good way of cooking escalopes as it keeps in the moisture on what can be quite a dry cut. The name Cordon Bleu refers to a prime piece of white meat such as chicken, turkey or veal that has been flattened, rolled and stuffed with cheese and coated in breadcrumbs. It is then deep fried. A slice of ham is often added to the stuffing.

 

For this dish a White Turkey would be good as they tend to have larger breasts and a subtler taste. The Bronze or Norfolk Black are much better choices for roasting birds as they are slower growing with stronger gamier flavours. But which ever you use try to buy local and free range.

 

Broccoli is an amazing vegetable. There is a variety for every season. Purple sprouting in winter, regular broccoli in spring and tenderstem from mid-summer to mid-November. Any will suit here but keep it seasonal and UK grown!

Ingredients

Serves 4

For the Turkey

  • Turkey Escalopes (130 – 150g each) 4
  • Free range eggs 2
  • Plain flour 80g
  • Bread crumbs 80g
  • Gruyere cheese slices 4
  • Oil for deep frying

 

For the dauphinoise potatoes

  • Potatoes 600g
  • Double cream 200ml
  • Large leaf spinach (a great winter vegetable) 500g
  • Garlic 2 cloves
  • Chefs note – Use a potato variety such as King Edwards as the extra starch will help to thicken the sauce.
  • For the sauce and garnish
  • Wild mushrooms such as Oyster 300g
  • Shallots 1
  • Butter 20g
  • White wine 100ml
  • Double cream 500ml
  • Plum tomatoes 2

 

For the vegetables

  • Purple sprouting broccoli 300g

Method

Prepare the Turkey

  • Trim and flatten each of the escalopes.
  • Beat the eggs and put into a shallow dish. Season the flour and put into another dish. Put the bread crumbs into a further one.
  • Lay a slice of cheese on each escalope. Roll them up and then pass them in sequence through firstly the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Make sure there is good seal all the way over otherwise the cheese will ooze out in the fryer.

 

Make the dauphinoise

  • Pre heat the oven to 160oC
  • Peel and thinly slice the potatoes.
  • Mince the garlic, add to the cream and season. Gently warm the cream.
  • Blanch and refresh the spinach leaves. Lay them on a clean tea towel to dry.
  • Take a shallow (at least 4cm high) oven proof dish and pour a little cream in the bottom.
  • Arrange a layer of potatoes followed by a layer of spinach and another layer of cream. Continue to build the layers finishing with cream covering the potatoes on the top.
  • Bake in the oven until the potatoes are cooked and the top is golden brown.

 

Chef note – This can be made the day before, pressed in the dish, turned out and cut onto shapes. It can then be reheated in the oven. The recipe here is for 4 portions but if you do not have a dish small enough double or triple the recipe and make more it will always get eaten!

Make the sauce and garnish

  • Make a tomato concasse.
  • Finely dice the shallot and ‘rip’ the mushrooms.
  • Sweat the shallots and mushrooms in the butter until soft. Add the wine and reduce by half.
  • Add the cream and simmer until it starts to thicken. Taste and season.

 

Chefs note –Concasse is a classic preparation of diced tomatoes. Take the core out and cut a small cross on the top of each tomato. Boil some water and drop the tomatoes in a few seconds until the skin starts to come away. Drop them into a bowl of cold water. Remove from the bowl and the skin should just fall off. They can then be quartered, dried and de seeded. The resulting ‘petals’ of tomato should be firm enough to dice into cubes. Plum tomatoes are traditionally the best as they stay firmer.

 

To cook and assemble

  • In a deep fat fryer heat the oil to 180oc. Lightly fry the escalopes until golden brown and then finish in the oven to make sure they cooked all the way through.
  • Steam the broccoli and reheat the potatoes if you have cooked them the day before.
  • Position a potato portion on the plate, place a Turkey escalope next to it. Top with the broccoli and dress the plate with mushrooms and sauce. Garnish with diced tomato.

 

Chefs note – If you do not have a deep fat fryer carefully shallow fry the turkey turning occasionally and place in the oven.

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