This turkey recipe is the genius way to utilise your Christmas leftovers - and it includes prosecco!

The perfect recipe for leftover Christmas dinner

It's inevitable that there will be an abundance of Christmas dinner leftovers after the big event and if you fear that you may have exhausted all Christmas leftovers recipes, Donna Hay is here to the save the day. Her prosecco brined turkey breast with brussel sprouts and speck is the game-changing recipe that even uses up the leftover booze! If there is any that is.

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Serves 4-6, Preparation time 40-45 minutes, plus 2 hours refrigeration, Cooking time 40-45 minutes


• 75g/3oz rock salt 

• 45g/1 3/4oz light brown sugar

• 2 sprigs fresh tarragon 

• 2 bunches fresh thyme (about 12 sprigs)

• 1 lemon, thinly sliced

• 1.25ltr/40fl oz water

• 750ml/25fl oz prosecco 

• 2 x 1.5kg/3 1/4lb turkey breast fillets, skin on

• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

• Sea salt and cracked black pepper

• 350g/12fl oz speck or bacon, chopped

• 500g/1lb 2oz Brussels sprouts, halved

• 1 bunch fresh thyme (about 6 sprigs), extra

For the lemon garlic butter

• 100g/4oz unsalted butter, softened

• 1 clove garlic, crushed 

• 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind



Step 1

Place the salt, sugar, tarragon, thyme, lemon and 500ml/18fl oz of the water in a medium saucepan over a high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 4 minutes, stirring to dissolve the salt. Leave to cool slightly then pour the brining liquid into a large (5ltr/8 3/4pt-capacity) non-reactive container. Add the prosecco and another 500ml/18fl oz of the water. Using your hands, carefully loosen the skin from the flesh of the turkey breasts. Lower the turkey, skin-side down, into the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours (but no longer). 

Step 2

To make the lemon garlic butter, place the butter, garlic and lemon rind in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Step 3

Remove the turkey from the container, discarding the brine, and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Using your hands, spread the lemon garlic butter under the skin. 

Step 4

Place the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and cracked black pepper. Add 1 turkey breast to the pan, skin-side down. Cook for 4 minutes each side or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining turkey. Return both turkey breasts to the pan, skin-side up. Add the remaining 250ml/9fl oz of water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove the turkey from the pan, loosely cover with aluminium foil and reserve the cooking liquid. 

Step 5

Wipe the pan out and return to medium heat. Add the speck and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until crispy. Remove and set aside. Increase the heat to high, add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until lightly charred. Add the extra thyme and reserved liquid and cook for 2 minutes. 

Step 6

Serve turkey with the sprouts and crispy speck. 

This recipe is by Donna Hay, taken from Donna’s Christmas Feasts and Treats (published by Fourth Estate, RRP £25) – the ultimate collection of recipes and step-by-step tips to create a memorable festive celebration.

Photo credit:  Chris Court, Styling: Steve Pearce

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