Stuffed turkey crown & turkey ballotine

by Luke Mackay

A masterclass in Christmas butchery


For the stuffing:
300g cooked chestnuts
400g good sausage meat
200g stale sourdough, ripped into small chunks
100g toasted hazelnuts, pistachios or pecans
100g dried apricots
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 tbsp chopped sage
1 tbsp chopped thyme

For the turkey:
1 x 2-3kg turkey (or a large 100-day-old chicken)
200g butter
1 tbsp chopped sage
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 tbsp chopped thyme
150g thinly sliced pancetta
8 sage leaves


To make the stuffing, chop the chestnuts roughly then mix all of the ingredients together. Put in a square roasting to, packed lightly to get lots of crunchy bits. Cook at 180C for 45 mins.

Using a sharp knife, take off the leg portions, carcass and wings of the bird, leaving the crown. Mix the butter with the chopped herbs and using your fingers, separate the skin from the breast. Stuff the bird under the skin.

Remove the skin, leg and thighbone from the leg portions so that you are left with 2 rectangular-ish pieces of meat. Lay the pancetta on a piece of cling film, then the sage leaves, then the leg meat, then the stuffing, roll and tie securely with butcher’s string. Roast both the crown and the leg ballotine at 180C for 1 hour 15 mins.

Recipe: Luke Mackay