Roast turkey is traditionally served on Thanksgiving Day in Canada and the US (and sometimes at Christmas). This year we celebrated Thanksgiving a few weeks later with our friends, as it was our turn to host a wine tasting.
We ordered the turkey from our Lamb Guy at our Friday farmer’s market a few weeks ahead. Ralph had the wrong date of our tasting in mind so we ended up with the turkey a week earlier, which was a bit of a panic moment as we don’t have much freezer real estate (and this bird was 9kg!). But we managed to squeeze it in.
For our Thanksgiving meal we started with a roasted Hokkaido pumpkin soup and served the roast turkey with mashed potatoes and oven roasted Brussels sprouts. For dessert, I made an apple butter pie . As a few of our guests have a dairy intolerance, we substituted olive oil for butter.
This meal doesn’t have to be just for large gatherings. If you have a friend or two who loves turkey (and has freezer space), why not have a meal together, share the leftovers, and make turkey stock? We ended up freezing multiple 2 cup portions of cut up turkey that we’ve already used some to make Turkey Ramen. It’s especially handy to have on hand during cold and flu season for soup.
I just wish you could bottle the scent of a turkey roasting in the oven all day.
- Bread, cut into ½″ cubes, crust removed, enough to loosely stuff turkey cavity (approx.. 750g) – You can use white or brown. Ralph used this local Sylter Genusslaib mixed wheat bread for a more intense flavour.
- 1 medium Spanish onion, chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 springs fresh Thyme (or dried, QB)
- 2 large celery stalks
- 5-6 leaves fresh sage or 2 tsp dried
- 2 Tbsp chicken stock (or more)
- Salt and pepper QB
- 1 Turkey (ours was 9 kg/20 lbs)
- 2-3 onions, cut into large wedges
- 4 carrots, cut into 1″ wedges
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- Poultry seasoning
- Salt and pepper QB
- 3 Tbsp Skimmed fat (from pan after turkey is finished roasting)
- 4 Tbsp flour
- 500 ml chicken stock plus any drippings from the pan with fat skimmed
- Fry onion in olive oil until soft.
- Add celery, bread, fresh thyme, sage, and pepper.
- Add chicken stock to moisten (may need more depending on your type of bread).
- Remove from pan to cool faster (if stuffing turkey right away).
- Preheat oven to 180 °C
- Line your turkey roasting pan with the onions, carrots, and garlic cloves.
- Stuff turkey with bread stuffing; cover stuffing area with tin foil if it’s spilling out.
- Tie legs and wings together with kitchen twine.
- Rub poultry seasoning into side facing up, followed with salt. Flip the turkey and repeat. [Note: you can also rub it first with olive oil.]
- Lay turkey breast-side down.
- Baste regularly, and adjust heat if skin is browning too quickly.
- Roast until the turkey reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F (73.9 °C)—ours took a total of six hours. Check out How Long It Takes to Roast a Turkey for other sizes and tips.
- We let our turkey rest for two hours before carving.
- Remove turkey from pan and skim fat in pan using a baster (3 Tbsp).
- Strain remaining juice into a bowl (discard onion, carrots, and garlic).
- Reheat turkey pan (medium heat), then add fat and flour (to brown the flour).
- Add strained juice from bowl.
- Whisk while adding chicken stock (add more flour for consistency you prefer).
- Never add flour directly to the sauce as it will just make clumps- always stir it into enough water to make a creamy paste first then add this to the gravy while stirring
[Sorry, I didn’t take any pics of Ralph making gravy. I was…err…wine tasting 🍷.]
BONUS! Tricia’s poultry seasoning recipe
Combine all ingredients and mix well:
- 75ml dried ground sage
- 50ml dried ground thyme
- 20ml dried parsley
- 15ml dried ground savory
- 15ml dried ground marjoram
- 5ml dried ground rosemary
- 5ml ground celery seed
- 5ml ground black pepper
- 3ml fine sea salt
- Dash of celery salt