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Turkey – My Way

Happy day-after-Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope that my fellow-Canadian readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving long-weekend and that my American readers had a great weekend as well! 😉

What a BUSY weekend I had! I ended up taking Friday off of work to spend time with C and basically work on getting things done around the house. Friday we did some much-needed gardening and then worked on moving the last of his big furniture.  We now have a guest bed, a desk for my office, a wardrobe for our out-of-season clothing and… the best thing… a FREEZER!!! It’s been so hard with two people in the house now and only having the little freezer above the fridge.  I am now definitely looking forward to making my big batches of chili and pasta sauce for this upcoming winter.  It’s just so awesome that I now have somewhere to freeze it all! (There will be more on this later. 😉 ) Back to my weekend happenings….

Saturday was kind of a running around sort of day.  We had dinner at C’s aunt’s house and I had to bring some desert.  We got up early and headed over to WalMart before 9am to get our groceries d.  Such a good idea! We didn’t want to have to be trying to do our groceries while others were struggling to do their last-minute shopping.  I then went for a ride on Chelsea and came home to make a batch of brownies and a batch of pumpkin/sweet potato blondies. Yum!  Dinner at C’s aunts was great, as always. She had quite the spread including turkey, and cabbage rolls!

Sunday was my turn.

I really wanted to have supper at our place, but we’re still working on organizing the place and just weren’t able to host. But then my mom gladly decided to let us have supper at their place providing I cook the turkey.  But you know, for the past 7 years or so, it’s a given that I cook the turkey every holiday no matter what. 😉  My mom stresses so much over cooking that bird and I find it’s one of the easiest things to cook!

Since I wasn’t the best at taking photos this weekend (was just too busy), I did however do my best to take some of the turkey process because I wanted to post my little how-to to show how easy it really is.

So here you have it folks:

Turkey – My Way

First thing’s first – stuffing.

Before I even look at the bird, I make the stuffing.  I made this particular stuffing Sunday morning at home before we headed over to my parents house.

1. Toast the bread (if you don’t already have it toasted). I bought a fresh $1 loaf of french bread Saturday to use.

2. Sautée onions, garlic, and celery – 2 cloves of garlic + 3/4 of a big cooking onion + 3 celery stalks

2. Mushrooms! (oh how I love mushrooms) add rougly chopped mushrooms to the mix – I used 1 1/2 packs.

4. Herbs! (Sorry, if you know me well enough you’ll understand – I don’t measure things like herbs and spices) Thyme, rosemary, basil and marjoram are my herbs of choice for stuffing.  I just add them generously until it smells like it’s supposed to.I wish there was such a thing as smellevision for blogs right about now!

5. Mix it up!  Break the toasted bread into small chunks then stir in with the veggie mixture. Your stuffing is now ready to go into your bird!

Next up – The Turkey!

note: I unfortunately don’t have step by step pictures of this process for you because I was all by myself in the house when I prepped the bird.  If I were to stop, wash my hands and take a picture every step, it would have taken me forever!

1. Herb prep. My signature thing when it comes to turkey is that I like to rub fresh herbs onto the breasts UNDER the skin.  It’s a great way to infuse some extra flavour into your bird.  This time I crushed up fresh thyme, rosemary and garlic in a mortar and pestal then set aside.

2. Butter prep. Turkey is one of the only things where I don’t cop out and use something other than butter. You need butter for a great bird in my mind. At this stage, I’ll make sure I have about 1/4C softened. (this way it’s ready when I have my hands covered in raw turkey) Also in a separate bowl melt about another 1/4C butter.

3. Turkey prep. Give the bird a rinse and make sure all of the gizzards are emptied out of it and then pat dry with a paper towel.

4. Very carefully, slide your fingers underneath the skin separating it from the breasts – do not tear it!  Once the skin is loosened, take your herb & garlic mixture and rub it onto the breasts and around the wings all underneath the skin.

5. Stuff that bird!  Now take your prepped stuffing and stuff the bird until it’s full. Don’t forget that little area where the neck was! 😉  Then take the melted butter and pour onto the stuffing into the bird.

6. Place into your roasting pan, tie up the legs and rub the softened butter all over the bird. Make sure you cover the entire surface. This will ensure that it gets nice and brown and crispy.

7. Cook that turkey! This has actually got to be the easiest part about doing a turkey. I like to cook my turkey in 30 minute increments at different temperatures and I then baste every 30 min.  I start hot at 425 and cook for 30 minutesIf there are any juices yet, I’ll baste and then drop the temperature to 350 and cook another 30 min. It’s all about keeping your eye on the bird each time you baste.  The skin will start to crisp up and the juices will start flowing as time goes on.  Once the meat starts to break away from the legs, it’s done. I think this bird was about 9 lbs and it was done in under 3 hours.

The finished product! So pretty!

The drippings are then used to make a gravy… but that’s my dad’s job and I have no idea how he does it. 😉

Once it cools for a bit, remove your stuffing and carve away!

Oh I can just smell/taste this now!

It was awesome.

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