Lentil Coated Turkey Goujons with Quick Cranberry Sauce Recipe
It’s no good, it’s December and we can no longer ignore the fact Christmas is coming. It doesn’t feel quite right at the moment, but then I’ve yet to hear a festive tune on the radio or drink a glass of mulled wine so that may bolster the situation. That said it’s time to turn our thoughts to all things turkey and cranberry based, so here’s my Lentil Coated Turkey Goujons to serve with a Quick Cranberry Sauce. This is way less of a mouthful than it sounds btw.
When I discovered the fact you can use ground red lentils, via the amazing Food 52, to create a crispy coating I knew I had to give it a go. To add a whiff of seasons greetings, however, I decided to go with turkey and to serve it with a very useful quick cranberry sauce. You can pin this recipe too for your lunch on the 25th as it literally takes a scant 15 minutes to make and only uses 3 ingredients. The turkey breast is cut into generous chunks, dipped in either buttermilk or yoghurt and eggs then coated in a colourful and tasty mix of ground red lentils and garlic. Once shallow fried this forms a crunchy coating around *eek* moist turkey which pairs so well with the sweet/sour sauce. You can serve this seasonal dish with creamy mash as a supper or cut the turkey into more bite sized pieces and have as a nibble with the scant number of guests allowed into your freezing cold garden this Christmas.
I am in the minority of people who actually quite like turkey so this dish is a bit of a treat for me. If you’re a turkey hater, then this can be made with the less seasonal chicken, but come on, embrace Christmas, there’s sod all else to do.
Who knew you could use red lentils to fashion a crunchy coating for your goujons? Well not me that’s for sure. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries for the sauce and yoghurt or buttermilk for chicken, I do love a bit of flexibility. The line up is missing the garlic powder, so just pretend it’s hiding at the back.
Make a start with the quick and simple cranberry sauce. Take a pan and measure in the orange juice and soft brown sugar. Bring up to the simmer on the hob over a low heat.
Once simmering, tip in the cranberries and add the pinch of chilli flakes, if using and turn down the heat. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes if frozen, nearer 10 if fresh. The sauce will have thickened and the cranberries popped. Take off the heat and leave to cool for later. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.
Now for the turkey. Cut into large goujon style pieces and season with salt and pepper.
Next up – the lentils. I used my Nutribullet, but you can use a spice or coffee grinder. In one or two batches, blitz them til you have a sandy texture. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bit lumpy.
Tip onto a plate and stir in half a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of the mystery garlic powder.
Tip the flour onto a plate and season with a good pinch of salt and stir.
Finally whisk the eggs into the yoghurt or buttermilk. Mine was Greek yoghurt so it was a little thick but still did the trick.
Line up your coatings as follows: seasoned turkey, flour, egg mix, lentils, lined baking tray. Dip the turkey into the flour first, then the egg/yoghurt mix, shaking any excess off, then finally a good coating of the lentils. I suggest not using your fingers like me, a fork will stop you coating your whole hand with the lentils.
Pop the coated pieces onto your lined tray and leave them to rest for 15 minutes so the coating sets a little.
Pour around 200ml of vegetable oil into a high sided pan and heat until a breadcrumb sizzles and browns when you drop it in.
Cook 3 to 4 pieces at a time for around 3 minutes on each side. The coating will be crisp and golden and the turkey cooked right through.
Keep your cooked goujons warm in the oven while you finish the batch.
Sprinkle with plenty of sea salt then serve. I went for a bed of mash, but you choose the carb you fancy. Just don’t forget the substantial dollop of cranberry sauce.
Yes, that’s me eating them hot from the tray. I had to get in quick because as various people got home from work and school, they magically disappeared. These golden treats are genius and I may never use a bread crumb ever again.
Lentil Coated Turkey Goujons with Quick Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Serves 4 to 6 hungry buggers
You will just need plates and a high sided pan for this
Lentil Coated Turkey Goujons
750g turkey breast, I used the thick ones, you could use chicken too
300g red lentils
1 teaspoon garlic powder
65g plain flour
125ml buttermilk or yoghurt
Salt and pepper
Around 200ml vegetable oil to fry
125ml orange juice
125g soft brown sugar
300g Fresh or frozen cranberries
A pinch chilli flakes, optional
Buttery mash and some sort of green vegetable, to serve
These can be made smaller and served as a festive nibble with the cranberry sauce as a dip
Make a start with the quick cranberry sauce. Take a small saucepan and measure in the orange juice and brown sugar. Bring up to the simmer then tip in the cranberries and pinch of chilli flakes, if using. Bring back up to the simmer, then turn down and cook for around 10 minutes, slightly less if your cranberries are frozen. Once the cranberries are soft, remove to a bowl and leave to cool. The sauce will thicken as it gets cold.
For the turkey goujons, chop your meat into large bite sized pieces and season well with salt and pepper. In your spice or coffee grinder, or Nutri Bullet blitz your red lentils until they are a sandy, gravelly texture. It may be worth doing in two batches. Tip these onto a plate and season with half a teaspoon of salt and add the teaspoon of garlic powder, stir together.
On a small plate whisk the eggs and buttermilk and yoghurt until combined. On a third plate, add a good pinch of salt to the plain flour.
In a sort of turkey goujon production line, place the turkey, flour plate, egg and yoghurt and lentil mix in that order. Dip each piece of seasoned turkey in the flour, followed by the egg mix (shaking off any excess) then into the lentil coating, making sure each piece is well covered. Place them onto a lined baking sheet and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Heat the 200ml of vegetable oil in a high sided frying pan until a breadcrumb sizzles and browns when dropped in. Cook the goujons, 3 to 4 at a time, for around 3 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Repeat with the rest of the batch, keeping the goujons warm in the oven while you do so.
Serve these, piping hot with buttered mash and and a generous dollop of cranberry sauce. Or, make smaller more nugget like affairs and serve as a canapé with the cranberry sauce as a dip.
The goujons will reheat in a piping hot oven for 5 minutes and any leftover cranberry sauce can be frozen and used over the festive period.