Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy, Oh My!

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If there is one thing that is a must for me, it’s a lovely holiday meal. It doesn’t matter how busy one is with their career, work, or running around with the kids, when the holidays roll around, it’s time to put a proper meal on the table.

Turkey is as traditional as it gets when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, although Roast Hams, and Legs of Lamb are often substituted. I love working with turkey, but can’t stand purchasing a whole one. Can you imagine all the turkey that would be left over? All those turkey sandwiches, soups, stews, salads, quesadillas?  I can’t force feed turkey to myself for weeks on end, and I don’t recommend you do either. My simple solution is to purchase turkey breast.

Many of you will argue that you prefer dark meat, and I don’t blame you. It is a lot more flavourful. However, I come from the school of thought that if prepared properly, a slice of turkey breast can be as juicy, tender, and succulent. At the end of the day, it’s all about technique. Nonetheless, if you’re a stickler for dark meat, turkey drumsticks are sold on their lonesome as well.

Butter basted turkey is boring to me. I mean, you’re going through all this effort to put a memorable meal on the table, you might as well go the extra mile. I season my turkey with a variety of herbs, olive oil, and seasonings and marinate it over night so that the flavours permeate the meat.

I roast the turkey in a pan with seasonal vegetables. This year I opted for sweet potatoes. They caramelize in the oven while your bird cooks, and soak up the juices and fat let out by the turkey. As sides, I prepare mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and a lovely gravy flavoured by the turkey juices collected in the pan after baking. Please, please, please…if cranberries are in season, do take the 5 minutes necessary to make fresh cranberry sauce. There is nothing like it.  The sweet and sour tang of fresh cranberry sauce trumps tinned cranberry sauce any day, and your efforts will be validated by the smiles of satisfaction around the table.

Vijayacran

Easter is around the corner, and it’s almost time for that holiday meal. Time to pull out those roasting pans once again!

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