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Turkey with Mash

28 November 2013 / 10:11:50  GRReporter
2901 reads

 

Danielle Lachana

 

Having left Italy we are now making a brief stop at our next destination, Albania, and in particular in a region famous for turkey production (Myzeqe). Maybe it is not a coincidence that American Thanksgiving  has now arrived and of course turkey is a popular choice for the upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations in many parts of the world. Perhaps this recipe will give a new look to your turkey!

If you do not want to use a turkey you can use a chicken. The original Albanian recipe ''Kaposh me Pershesh'' means approximately ''Turkey with Mash'' - but the mash here is not made from potatoes (which 'mash' often implies), but from a soaked, crumbled corn bread. For those who would like to make their own bread - which I really recommend for its dense texture which makes for a tasty 'mash' - I include also an original Albanian cornbread recipe below.   Ju befte mire!  (''Enjoy your meal!'').

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RECIPE

Serves  6

 

METHOD

Wash the turkey and rub well with salt and 1 tbsp of the dried oregano or mint. Coat with the lemon juice and melted butter or oil and set aside for around 1 hour.

Transfer the turkey to an ovenproof baking dish and pour in water to about 1/4 of the height of the turkey. This will serve later for the 'juices' for the 'mash'.

Bake in a moderate preheated oven at 170 C (325 F, Gas mark 3) for about  2 1/2 hours or until the turkey is perfectly cooked and golden brown on top. (You can cover the turkey with aluminium foil if it starts to brown too quickly).

Reserve the  liquid (pan juices) from the baking dish. Put the roughly crumbled bread into a bowl and add half the reserved liquid to it, stirring until absorbed.

 Fry the onion or leeks in the oil and butter until golden brown and softened then add a little water and half of the remaining pan juices from the turkey. Bring to the boil. Add the  remaining 1/2 tbsp oregano or mint and the crumbled soaked bread stirring over medium heat then add the rest of the pan juices.

Boil gently, stirring until most of the water has evaporated and the crumbled bread has thickened to a 'mash' but without becoming too thin.

Transfer to a platter and serve the turkey on top of the 'mash'.

Variation: For a richer, more festive dish, you can add the chopped cooked turkey livers and lightly roasted or toasted chopped walnuts to the 'mash' mixture just before serving.

 

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FOR THE CORN BREAD

METHOD

Mix the two flours together in a bowl with the salt and the yeast.

Make a well (hollow) in the centre and add the warm water gradually, mixing well until thoroughly combined and kneading to a firm dough. (You can do this in a mixer with a dough hook attachment or in a food processor if you like).  Cover the bowl with a clean tea cloth/towel and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (approximately 1 hour).

Put  in a fairly shallow, (approximately  30 x 22 x 5 cm), mould or baking dish brushed with oil and lightly floured and leave, covered, for 20 minutes.

Brush the top of the dough with water then bake in a preheated oven at 220 C (425 F, Gas Mark 7) for around 30 minutes until cooked through.

 

Note: This type of bread is denser than what you are probably used to but the texture is essential to make a good 'mash'. 

Tags: Turkey with mash Albania Mediterranean Recipes Kaposh me Pershesh cornbread
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