Pan-fried John Dory with turnips and chestnuts

Preparation time

Cooking time
1 to 2 hours

Serves 4

By Tom Aikens


For the confit turnips

  • 75g/2½oz butter, diced
  • 500g/1lb 2oz turnips, peeled and grated, then squeezed in a clean tea towel, juice reserved
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 8g/¼oz salt
  • large pinch finely crushed black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves

For the turnip milk sauce

  • 900ml/1½pt milk
  • 300g/10½oz turnips, peeled and chopped into 1cm/¼in pieces
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 20g/¾oz caster sugar
  • 200ml/7fl oz fresh turnip juice (reserved from the confit turnips)
  • 50g/1¾oz creamed horseradish sauce

For the chestnut sauce

  • 20g/¾oz butter
  • 75g/2½oz shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150g/5½oz chopped confit chestnuts
  • 25ml/1fl oz white wine vinegar
  • 150ml/5fl oz Madeira
  • 300ml/10fl oz chicken stock
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the John Dory

  • 4 200g/7oz John Dory fillets, skin-on, pin-boned
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 3 chestnuts, tops crossed
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 1 medium-sized turnip, peeled, sliced and cut into rounds
  • 2 baby turnips, peeled and finely sliced on a mandolin
  • turnip oil or olive oil for drizzling