October is Canadian Turkey Month!
Fall officially started just a few days ago and mother nature didn’t forget. At least in my neck of the woods. Our last late blast of summer abruptly came to a halt and a fall chill has set in. My lawn is covered in leaves and the birds have been circling en masse getting ready to head south. It’s the season for cozy sweaters, boots (I do love my boots), and warm, delicious comfort food. It’s impossible not to think about fall comfort food and not imagine a gorgeous roast turkey with all the trimmings. It is definitely the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving feasts. And I think I enjoy the turkey leftovers just as much as that fabulous turkey dinner! There are just so many things you can do with leftover turkey – sandwiches, salads, shepherd’s pie, soup. If you need some leftover turkey inspiration check out the leftovers recipe section on the Canadian Turkey website.
Holidays, like Thanksgiving, are wonderful for getting family and friends together. Great food. Great company. Taking time time be thankful for all of these wonderful things. But it can be a little stressful. Preparing a big meal for a lot of people isn’t always easy! I know that the thought of roasting the perfect turkey can be a little daunting if it’s something you new to you. But with a little prep work and some help from some experts you can pull it off flawlessly! Here are a few trips from the pros at Canadian Turkey to help it all go smoothly.
10 WAYS TO MASTER THANKSGIVING PREP AND PLANNING
- For an easy way to ensure extra-crispy skin, unwrap your turkey the day before you are planning to cook it and leave it in the fridge overnight. The extra drying time will add the perfect crispiness to your turkey.
- Use a good quality meat thermometer to ensure you cook your turkey to the perfect doneness. Test your thermometer a few days ahead of time to make sure it is working properly.
- Consider cooking your turkey in parts – breasts, thighs and drums – for a quicker, foolproof way to get the meat cooked perfectly.
- Get a head start on your meal! You can prep all of your staples like onions, celery and carrots up to 3 days beforehand. Dice and store in storage bags. Green beans, squash and salad greens can be washed, trimmed, and chopped ahead of time. Store these in storage bags for ready-to-cook sides.
- For an easier-to-serve, fun meal with a casual feel, or if you are hosting a large crowd, consider hosting a buffet-style meal. Spread your dishes out in the kitchen or dining room and let people self-serve and mingle while they eat for an easier-to-serve, fun meal with a casual feel.
- To reduce cooking time, cook your stuffing on the side. This way you can get more of your favourite crunchy bits while cutting down on cooking time in the oven.
- Plan ahead and make a ‘smart’ shopping list. Organize it by staples you can buy in advance and perishables you need to buy a few days before, then organize according to sections of the grocery store. This will make grocery shopping a breeze and save you precious time.
- Look for make-ahead sides that you can make a day or two beforehand and taste delicious re-heated. Bookmark a website with tasty and reliable turkey recipes and resources, like canadianturkey.ca, so you’re ready for the big day!
- To plan for leftovers, order a turkey that is several pounds bigger than what you need. Extra turkey can be stored and frozen to use for quick and easy meals later on.
- Leftover turkey freezes well. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for a quick start to a weekday meal. Visit canadianturkey.ca for recipe inspiration and create salads, soups, pastas or casseroles in a snap!
Be sure to download the Canadian Turkey Simple and Stress Free Thanksgiving Turkey Guide for recipes, tips and some really helpful information (like how much turkey you need, cooking times, etc).
Whether you are an experienced turkey roaster who wants to try a new recipe, or a rookie looking for a solid place to start, you cannot go wrong with this recipe for 5-Herb Butter Roast Turkey.
5-Herb Butter Roast Turkey
- 1 whole turkey, 14-18 pounds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp dried Italian herbs
- 1 handful each fresh thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano and parsley
- 4 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 large onions, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 large carrots, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 cups turkey broth
Make sure the turkey is thawed and the giblets have been removed.
Preheat oven to 350ºF (177ºC).
Pat the turkey dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
Rub the turkey with the olive oil, inside and out. Season generously with salt and pepper, and dried Italian herbs, inside and out.
Finely chop half of the herbs. Combine with the butter. Rub the herb-butter mixture generously underneath the skin and over the breast on both sides.
Stuff the cavity with the onions, carrots, celery and the remaining herbs.
Place the turkey into your roasting pan. Add the turkey broth.
Roast the turkey for 3 ½-4 ½ hours or until the juices run clear and an instant thermometer reads 180°F (82°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.
Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.
NOTE: Cooking times are for planning purposes only – always use a digital meat thermometer to determine doneness.
TIP: Feel free to get creative with seasonings, rubs and glazes to change up the flavour profile of your turkey. Visit our glazes, infusions and rubs recipe section for inspiration.
Maybe your Thanksgiving dinner guest list is on the smaller side. You can still roast up that big beautiful bird and make the most of the leftovers, but there are other ways to enjoy a fabulous turkey holiday meal without roasting a whole turkey. You can roast a half turkey, try this mouthwatering apple cranberry stuffed turkey breast recipe, or take a look at the Canadian Turkey recipe section for more great ideas.
Canadian Turkey makes your Thanksgiving easy with all the recipe suggestions and turkey prep tips you need. The year round whole turkey HOW TOs section will help you prepare a whole Canadian turkey for your friends and family for any occasion. And the recipe section is filled with delicious recipes for whole turkey, turkey cuts and leftovers so you can get tasty, nutritious and versatile turkey on your table every day!
Enter to win
To help celebrate Canadian Turkey month, I’m thrilled that I am able to offer (thanks to Canadian Turkey) another great giveaway for my readers! This month you can enter to win a $75 Hudson’s Bay e-gift card! Use the form below to enter. Good luck! And Happy Canadian Turkey month!