Harvest time is the right time for giving thanks

Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Photo by Steve McFarland/cc, Flickr

Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
Photo by Steve McFarland/CC, Flickr

Harvest time is the right time for giving thanks
Adapted from Canadian Living: “How to cook a turkey”
and BC Turkey Growers by Patti-Lea Ryan
Level 2

What better time to give thanks?
Farmer’s markets and stores are filled with fresh vegetables.
The vegetables are fresh and colourful.
Carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli, yams and corn, to name a few.
There is also cranberry sauce in the stores and farmer’s markets.
And maybe even a dessert.
Pumpkin Pie and whipped cream is a good choice.

Steps for roasting a turkey
Step 1:

If your turkey is fresh (not frozen) you can skip this step. Go to Step 2.
Thaw a frozen turkey in its plastic wrapper in the fridge.
Allow for five hours per pound.
Remove the thawed turkey from the plastic cover.

Quicker method: In a sink, cover the turkey with cold water in its plastic wrapper.
Change with fresh cold water every 30 minutes.
Allow one hour per pound.
Remove the thawed turkey from the plastic cover.

A third method is to buy a frozen pre-stuffed turkey.
Stop reading this. Do not thaw the turkey.
Follow the directions on the package very carefully.

Step 2:
Rinse and wipe inside and out with a paper towel.
Stuff the turkey.

Turkey Stuffing
People can put what they like into the stuffing.
There are many recipes.
Below is an easy recipe for a simple and tasty stuffing.
It is my mother’s recipe and my personal favourite.
I use it every year.

Another option is to buy stuffing that is cooked in a pot on the stove.
Use roasting time chart below for unstuffed turkey.

Easy turkey stuffing recipe

Turkey stuffing Photo by Dan Costin/CC, Flickr

Turkey stuffing
Photo by Dan Costin/CC, Flickr

Ingredients to stuff a 10lb – 12lb turkey
5-6 cups bread cubes
¼ cup butter
1 chopped onion
4 chopped celery stalks
6 oz. ground beef or sausage
1 tbsp. Poultry Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Up to ¼ cup water

Ready for the oven


Roasted turkey
Photo by master phillip/CC, Flickr

Step 3:
Place turkey, breast side up, on rack in a roasting pan.
Brush with melted butter or oil.
Place meat thermometer in the thickest part of the leg.
Cover pan loosely with foil.
Take the foil off and baste every 30 minutes. Replace foil.
Remove foil cover for last hour of roasting. Save foil for next step.
Never under cook a turkey.
Juices should run clear when turkey is pierced.

Step 4: When turkey is done, transfer to warm platter. Remove the stuffing. Tent the turkey with the foil and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows time for juices at the surface of the bird to distribute evenly throughout the meat.

Pan Gravy
3/4 cup juices from pan
4 cups turkey stock or chicken stock
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Skim fat from pan juices in turkey roasting pan.
2. In the roasting pan, whisk flour, salt and pepper.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring for 1 minute.
4. Gradually whisk in stock and bring to boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer, about 5 minutes.
6. Strain through fine sieve into gravy boat.

Video: How to cook a turkey

Video: Pan gravy

To learn more about the care and preparation of a Turkey: