So, there’s going to be two of you in the house on Christmas Day and you fancy celebrating with turkey. Luckily you can find turkey crowns and chicken legs quite easily, or if you prefer something free-range chicken pieces. You don’t want to be cooking all day, so this recipe can be made in 20 minutes and once it is cooked is perfect to keep in the fridge and re-heat up to three days after it is prepared. In fact, it tastes even better the next day.

Tuscan cooking is packed with flavour with the intense ingredients like dried porcini mushrooms, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, an inheritance of the days when Florence was one of the main trading centres of Italy.

This recipe is tasty at any time in the Winter months.


10 g dried porcini

2 tablespoons olive oil

20g butter

1 clove garlic

2 turkey or free-range chicken legs and thighs

4 tablespoons dry white wine

2 tablespoons tinned tomatoes, coarsely chopped

200g brown cap mushrooms

Sea salt and black pepper

2 sprigs thyme

½ stick cinnamon

4 new potatoes peeled

Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped


Zest of unwaxed lemon

Squeeze of lemon juice


Cover the dried mushrooms with some warm water and set aside as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Choose a deep, wide frying pan with a lid.

Warm the oil and butter and add the garlic clove.

Cut the turkey pieces into 2-3 equal sized pieces, keeping the bone, and the skin.

Add the turkey skin down into the oil and cook on a high heat to brown the skin well on all sides.

Add the white wine and allow to cook until the alcohol evaporates when the steam no longer stings the back of your throat.

Add the chopped tomatoes and their liquid.

Season the turkey well with plenty of sea salt and black pepper.

Now, lower the heat and add the chopped dried mushrooms and the strained juices.

Add the chopped fresh mushrooms.

Now add the flavourings, the cinnamon, the leaves pulled from the sprigs of thyme

and a generous grating of fresh nutmeg.

Tuck the peeled potatoes into the juices.

If needed add some warm water so that the turkey is almost covered with liquid.

Cover the frying pan and cook on a gentle heat for 30 -40 minutes until the turkey is cooked and tender.

If the sauce is too liquid, boil to evaporate.

Finish the dish with a grating of lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon and a scattering of finely chopped fresh parsley.

Mary Contini OBE is a writer and Director of Valvona & Crolla ltd. We are happy to welcome you in our CaffèBar and shop again, open all day. Book and order online:

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