Thanks Giving is around the corner for us Canucks so don’t be fooled by the warm weather here in the GTA. Start planning now for a delicious turkey dinner. Here are a few easy steps to ensure an awesome meal.
1. Brine your turkey – this will have the biggest impact on the dinner as it will add moisture to the bird along with flavour and seasoning from the inside out. It also adds insurance in terms of overcooking, but no one does that do they?!?! Where is my wine glass?
2. Stuffing is Evil – Do not stuff your turkey. Repeat with me, do not stuff the turkey. Stuffing a turkey ensures an overdone turkey, possible salmonella poisoning, and a much longer cooking time.
Make your dressing (formerly stuffing) and bake it in a pan separately while the turkey is resting. Same recipe, maybe a little more liquid which I recommend using chicken stock. Bake covered 75% then uncovered for last 25% of time; an hour at 375 degF should do it for most of us.
2. DON’T OVERCOOK THE TURKEY! – Forget the little pop-up indicators and the ancient meat thermometer that has preset spots for turkey. Get a digital probe thermometer or use an ovenproof thermometer with a graduated dial that is easy to read. Stick it into the centre of the breast starting at the top. Now cook the turkey until it reads 160 degrees F, 165 if you are really concerned but no more. When you remove the turkey and cover it with 2 layers of foil (shiny side down) the thermal energy will continue to cook the turkey another 10-15 degrees while it rests. Rest the turkey at least 30 minutes up to to 2 hours covered with a few kitchen towels.
After these steps I’m sure you can make the usual vegetable side dishes your family likes and gravy in whichever manner you prefer.
If you have questions please contact me, I’d be happy to hear from you.