Cheats Christmas Turkey | DonalSkehan.com
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Cheats Christmas Turkey

December 02

Ask your butcher to cut turkey breast  into thin cutlets weighing about 200g each for the turkey escalopes. You can ask them or roll them out yourself at home with a rolling pin to about 1 cm thickness. You can make the ballotines a few days in advance and keep them in the fridge or freezer till you are ready to cook.

  • serves Serves 4
  • time 1 hour 45 minutes


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
  2. 2. Transfer the potatoes to a pot filled with boiling water and allow to boil for 6-8 minutes with the lid on. Once parboiled, drain out the water, add the flour & polenta and season with salt & pepper. Place the lid back onto the pot and gently toss to coat.
  3. 3. Drizzle a large baking tray with olive oil, ensuring to generously cover the entire surface of the tray and transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. 4. Once the oil is heated, place a few sprigs of rosemary onto the tray, alongside the potatoes. Use a spoon to gently coat the potatoes in the oil. Transfer the tray back to the oven and roast for 45 minutes until golden and crispy.
  5. 5. Transfer the carrots and parsnips to another large baking tray, scatter with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a few sprigs of the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss with your hands to coat.
  6. 6. Transfer to the oven and roast for 35-45 minutes until caramelised. At this stage, take them out of the oven and drizzle with honey, before transferring back to the oven to roast for a further 10 minutes.
  7. 7. While your vegetables are roasting, make the ballotines. Roll out a large piece of cling film onto your countertop and place 5 slices of prosciutto next to each other, slightly overlapping by about 1 cm. Season with pepper and place 1 of the turkey escalopes on top of the prosciutto. Season the turkey with salt.
  8. 8. Take half of the stuffing and arrange it in the centre of the turkey, running the length of the escalope.
  9. 9. Roll the meat up in the cling film to make a tight cylinder shape. Twist the ends tightly and tie off the ends. Repeat so you have a second ballotine and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  10. 10. Heat another tablespoon of oil in an oven proof pan over a medium high heat alongside 25g of the butter. Allow to melt before adding the ballotines to the pan with a few sprigs of rosemary.
  11. 11. Brown the ballotines on all sides and baste with the butter before transferring the pan the oven to roast for 15-20 minutes, until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 75°C/170°F. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside for slicing and serving.
  12. 12. To make the pan sauce, use the same pan that the ballotine was cooked in and place over a medium heat. Fry the red onion for 6 minutes until the onion is softened and tender. Add in the dijon mustard, wine and stock. Simmer until sauce is reduced and slightly thickened before adding the remaining butter.
  13. 13. To serve, slice the ballotines and serve with the roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips and a generous drizzle of the pan sauce.

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1kg rooster potatoes, peeled & quartered

1 tbsp plain flour

1 tbsp polenta

Small handful sprigs rosemary

450g parsnips, peeled & diced

450g carrots, peeled & diced

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling & frying

Small handful sprigs thyme

10 slices prosciutto

2 turkey escalopes (about 200g each)

220g shop bought garlic & herb stuffing

Drizzle of honey

40g butter

1 small red onion

1 tsp dijon mustard

150ml white wine

350ml chicken stock

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper