Cranberry-glazed roast turkey breast with wild rice stuffing

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If you don't fancy negotiating a whole bird this Christmas, this fantastic roast turkey breast recipe could be the perfect solution. Served with a cranberry glaze and wild rice stuffing, this Canadian-inspired dish makes a warming Christmas main course. Karen serves her stuffing as a side, but if you'd like to take this dish to the next level, view our guide on How to roll and stuff a turkey breast.

First published in 2016

I love Canada. Its scenery, wildlife, people and its cuisine; it’s hard to define Canadian cuisine, but I always tell friends and family that it tends to comprise of locally produced ingredients, and is very diverse, with elements from the First Nations people, the first European settlers and recently arrived immigrants contributing to the melting pot of modern Canadian cuisine. The cuisine is also very seasonal, with the 'Farm to Table' movement being very evident in nearly all of the restaurants I visited.

This recipe takes inspiration from a recent trip to Arctic Canada in Northern Manitoba, where I walked with the polar bears of Churchill and Hudson Bay, and on returning to the cosy lodge where I was staying, Seal River Heritage Lodge, I was served some of the best food I think I’ve ever eaten whilst travelling around Canada, with this Cranberry-gazed turkey fillet recipe being based on a chicken dish I enjoyed there.

Nearly all of the meals that are cooked in the lodge, from breakfast to evening dinner, come from a series of excellent Canadian cookbooks by authors Helen Webber and Marie Woolsey; the cranberry-glazed chicken dish I mentioned above, is featured in their last cookbook called 'Icebergs and Belugas', which is based on 'the pristine northern wilderness of the Hudson Bay are the setting and inspiration for this collection of delicious recipes'.

As well as the cranberry-glazed chicken dish, I noticed there was an excellent recipe for wild rice poultry stuffing, which I adapted to accompany my recipe. The two recipes make use of two of Canada’s most prolific ingredients – cranberries and wild rice, which isn’t actually rice but a type of grass. As well as these two ingredients, Canada is also famous for its seafood and maple syrup, both of which I highlighted in my two previous recipes for Blueberry soufflé with maple drizzle and Atlantic surf and turf with ice wine sauce.

I have created this latest Canadian-inspired recipe with Christmas and the festive season in mind, and with the idea that not everyone wants a big whole turkey – so this recipe suggests a whole turkey breast fillet, but you could also use a small whole chicken or chicken pieces if you wish.




Roast turkey breast

Wild rice stuffing


To begin, cook the wild rice for the stuffing. Bring 650ml salted water to the boil in a pan, add the rice and simmer covered for about 45–60 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and tender. Drain and set aside until needed
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Liberally rub butter all over the turkey breast and place it in a roasting tray. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix the remaining ingredients together, except the fresh or frozen cranberries, and spoon the mixture over the turkey. Cover loosely with foil and cook for 1 hour
Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Fry the onion and celery in the butter until they are soft and translucen. Add the mushrooms, garlic, celery salt, black pepper and parsley and fry for a further 5–6 minutes
Add the cranberries and nuts to the vegetable mixture, mix well and then tip all of the ingredients into the cooked wild rice. Mix well and spoon into a well-buttered oven dish. Bake alongside the turkey for 30–45 minutes (this stuffing can also be used for stuffing whole roasting birds too)
15 minutes before the end of the turkey cooking time, remove the foil from the tray and add the fresh or frozen cranberries to the turkey, giving a good baste with the cooking juices
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving with the cooking juices, wild rice stuffing, potatoes and seasonal vegetables

Karen Burns-Booth is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a passion for local, seasonal ingredients.

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