Panko-Crumbed Turkey, Honey-Glazed Parsnip and Watercress Salad

Cranberry Pomegranate Compote and a Deep-Fried Egg

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By Peter Gordon

Published 2005

  • About

This warm meal is best served around Christmas time. It’s actually great served as an alternative Christmas lunch if you really can’t be bothered with cooking a whole bird and you want a lighter meal. We’ve been serving deep-fried eggs at The Providores for almost four years now and they are one of our most surprising dishes. Our customers are divided into two camps – those that get it, and those that don’t. I love them. Panko are breadcrumbs from Japan – they’re coarser and longer than regular breadcrumbs and they give added texture to the turkey. If you can’t find panko (also look for honey panko), the next best thing is to grate a few slices of two-day-old unflavoured sourdough, which should also give you nice coarse threads.


  • 5 eggs
  • flour for coating
  • 4 turkey steaks, each about 220 g
  • 2 handfuls of panko crumbs (see above)
  • vegetable oil for cooking
  • 500 g watercress, large stems removed

For the Honey-Glazed Parsnips

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 500 g smallish parsnips, peeled and cut lengthways into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 70 g butter
  • 15 sage leaves, shredded
  • 125 ml hot water

For the Cranberry and Pomegranate Compote

  • 50 g unrefined caster sugar
  • 5 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 200 g cranberries (both fresh and frozen will work)


First make the honey-glazed parsnips, preheat the oven to 190°C, gas 5. Line a baking dish (just large enough to hold the parsnips) with baking parchment, lay the parsnips in it and lightly season. Add the honey, butter, sage and hot water. Seal tightly with foil or a lid and bake until you can insert a small sharp knife through the thickest part of the parsnip, about 40 minutes. Once tender, remove the foil and bake until they take on a golden hue.

Meanwhile, make the cranberry-pomegranate compote, bring the sugar, molasses, cayenne pepper and mustard seeds to the boil in a small pan, then add the cranberries and a little salt, gently stirring. You want half the cranberries to burst, but not all or you’ll have a pan of mush! Take off the heat.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and carefully add 4 of the eggs with a slotted spoon. Boil for 4 minutes only – adjust this time depending on their size. Remove the eggs from the pan and place in a bowl, then let cold water run over them for 5 minutes to cool them completely. Shell and keep in the fridge.

Season the flour and use to coat the steaks one at a time. Whisk the remaining egg and dip the steaks into this one at a time. Lay the panko on a plate and coat the turkey evenly on both sides in that, pressing the crumbs in so they adhere.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan to medium and cook the turkey until golden on both sides. If your pan is large you may be able to cook them all at once; if not, cook them in two batches. In total, a 1 cm thick steak should take around 8 minutes. To test if it’s cooked, cut into the thickest part and carefully pull apart. When it’s white in colour, it’s ready. Bear in mind that turkey gets quite dry if overcooked, so keep an eye on it. Keep warm.

Heat a deep-fryer or a pan with 5 cm of oil to 180°C. Pat the eggs dry and carefully lower them into the oil with a slotted spoon. Cook until golden, around 4–5 minutes – you want them to have a runny centre, so again keep an eye on them. Remove from the oil and place on kitchen paper to drain.

To Serve

Place the turkey on warm plates. Mix the watercress with the parsnips and any roasting pan juices, and divide between 4 plates. Dollop on the compote and finally sit a halved egg in the centre of the plate.