For many of us some of our most cherished holiday moments centered around the kitchen and/or the dining room table. When I was a kid this time of year meant spending hours and hours in the kitchen with my mother. We would makes countless batches of holiday baking, not only for our own family to enjoy but to share around our community. It was our tradition to make up tins of mouth watering baking and deliver them to people we knew (even if we barely knew them) that otherwise wouldn’t have such treats around the holidays. There were also the hand painted chocolates, homemade buns, cabbage rolls, perogies, pies and the mince meat tarts my mother insisted we had to make, despite only a couple of people actually liking them, because eating them at the holidays meant good luck. And this was all weeks before the big day and the massive turkey feast we would pour our hearts into and enjoy around the table with our extended family. Lots of food. Lots of laughs. Lots of memories. Many things have changed since then, but these are things I will always remember and always cherish.
Holidays can be stressful. Family can be stressful. But good food is something that can so often bring us together. When everyone is gathered around the table sharing amazing food it can be quite magical. It is the perfect time for us all to come together in the spirit of the season and share a meal and make new memories.
When we think of holiday meals I think many of us think about turkey. It is so often the centerpiece of our family meals during Christmas and other holidays too. Turkey really is the perfect dish for a big gathering. It’s affordable. Everyone loves it. You end up with tasty leftovers. And, you can prepare it, throw it in the oven and don’t have to worry about it too much until it’s time for it to come out. That gives you time to prepare your sides, spend time with your family, or go take a hot bath if you want!
Another great thing about preparing a whole roast bird for your big holiday meal is that’s it’s so easy to change it up a little bit but still keep it traditional. Turkey is so versatile that you can easily play around with different herbs and spices to try something just a little bit different. Another easy and fun way to introduce new flavours to your traditional holiday bird is to try out a new stuffing. This Roast Turkey with Artichoke and Asiago Dressing is a great recipe to try if you want a bit of a change.
Roast Turkey with Artichoke and Asiago Dressing
- 1 whole turkey (14-18 pounds)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups white wine
- 1 cup turkey broth
- 1 tsp each of ground sage, thyme and oregano
- 4 cups cubed Italian ciabatta bread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 cups turkey broth
- 2 tsp each of ground sage, celery and oregano
- 1 cup grated Asiago cheese
- 2 cups artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Make sure the turkey is thawed and the giblets and neck have been removed.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C).
Prepare your stuffing (directions to follow) and set aside.
Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
Rub the turkey with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried herbs, inside and out.
Stuff the cavity loosely with stuffing.
Place the turkey into a roasting pan. Add the wine and the broth.
Roast the turkey for 5–6 hours, until the juices run clear and an instant thermometer reads 180°F (82°C) in the thigh.
Once cooked, remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan.
Saute onions and celery until lightly browned, 4-6 minutes. Deglaze with white wine. Set aside to cool.
Pour brother over dried bread to moisten.
Combine all stuffing ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
NOTE: Cooking times are for planning purposes only – always use a digital meat thermometer to determine doneness.
TIP: You can cook any extra stuffing in an oven safe dish for 45 minutes and serve on the side.
While a roast turkey can be the star of the show for your big holiday meal it’s also a great ingredient to use in other ways for your holiday entertaining. Turkey pairs well with so many flavours, you can’t go wrong serving up some delicious turkey appetizers. There are plenty of mouth watering recipes at Think Turkey if you need some inspiration. Personally, I’ve got my eye on the Turkey Egg Rolls with Cranberry Chili Dipping Sauce recipe. It looks and sounds amazing!
Need more great ideas to help you get holiday-ready? Canadian Turkey is here to help!
5 Ways to Get Holiday-Ready with Canadian Turkey:
- Save money by purchasing a utility turkey. Utility turkeys taste the same as Grade A turkeys but may be missing a wing or have a tear in the skin. Once you carve up your turkey your guests will never know the difference! I know because I do this all the time.
- Get your family excited about this festive Canadian tradition by cooking your turkey using their favourite seasonings or traditional spices.
- Save precious cooking time and have more fun entertaining by preparing a meal using different turkey cuts instead of a whole turkey. You can customize your meal based on your guests’ preferences by easily serving more dark or white turkey, and cut your cooking time in half or less.
- Plan to easily feed a large holiday crowd on a budget by serving a whole roasted Canadian turkey. You can prep your turkey in advance and plan to make all your sides while the turkey is in the oven! Check the Whole Turkey section of the thinkturkey.ca website where you’ll also find our Whole Bird Calculator to help you determine the perfect size of turkey for your meal.
- Bookmark helpful information on sites like thinkturkey.ca, with resources like our Turkey Basics How To videos to help you create the perfect roast turkey meal with fool-proof instructions, hints and tips.
Be sure to download the Canadian Turkey Holiday Meal Guide for more inspiration!
Looking for additional tips, recipes, Turkey Basics videos and HOW TOs? Visit canadianturkey.ca for all your cooking inspiration. Canadian Turkey makes your holiday season easy with all the festive 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 and turkey cuts so you can get tasty, nutritious and versatile turkey on your table every day!
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