With all the bustling just about done we need to focus on that turkey dinner.
To make your family and friends really appreciate your dinner, find a locally free- range turkey. You will never regret it. Check www.foodchi.ca for turkey, brussels and carrots, celery, sage, etc.
After you have purchased your turkey, be sure to remove it from the freezer at least two days before you are to prepare it for cooking. If 29 pounds and over, take out it three days before and thaw it in the fridge only.
Put the turkey in cold water in your sink and rinse and remove giblets and any pin feathers. Allow turkey to drain while you prepare the stuffing.
If your bird is 16 pounds or over you will need:
1 to 1 1/2 day old bread, white or brown cut into cubes
1 large or 2 med size onions, chopped
8 stems of celery or one celeriac chopped fine
6 stems parsley cut up,
2 tbsp sage
salt & pepper
I chop the giblets fine as well,but suit to your own tastes.
Heat 1 1/2 cups water. I saute the gilbets first in the butter, then add chopped onions, celery parsley and sage. You may want to add a little chopped thyme, if you have it, as well.
In a large bowl put in your cubed bread, add the hot water and mix. Next, add the cooked veggie mix. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and sage. Mix all together until almost pudding consistancy.
Put your turkey into the roasting pan. Loosely fill the turkey cavity, as the dressing will expand, and put the remainder into the crop cavity. Fold the turkey wings behind the bird, holding down the skin from the cavity, thus holding in the filling. You may use a skewer if the skin is too short and also skewer the chest cavity. Tie the legs together or put under the skin where the tail is, to keep in the filling.
Rub soft butter over the skin and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Set oven at 350’ F. Allow about 15 minutes to the pound for over 15 pounds, example, 15 x 15 which is about 3 hours and 45 minutes. If using a thermometer, insert between the thigh and body for internal temp of 190’F. Another test is to push down on the leg. If it pushes down with a bit of effort the turkey is almost done or prick with a fork in the chest to see the colour of the juice.
Turn off the oven and remove turkey from pan, keeping it warm in the oven, covered with foil.
Add the water from your cooked potatoes and carrots, into the turkey juice. Mix your thickening, (flour or corn starch) with a little cold water.
When the juice is boiling add the thickener and stir vigourously with a whisk until thick. Strain and pour into gravy boat after you have sliced your turkey and all the veggies are ready.
Cranberry sauce and side dishes
Purchase some B.C. cranberries if you can’t find wild ones, and cook them (1 bag) with 2 cups with 1/2 c. sugar and juice of one orange with pulp. Cook until just set and cool for dinner. This can be done the day before.
Fresh brussel sprouts only need a little steaming and then add chopped dill and a little butter or oil, toss, and put into a bowl.
Mash your potatoes and add some milk or cream and beat with masher or mixer until smooth. Carrots go well with dill. Be adventurous with your herbs. Rosemary is good too.
Be thankful for all we have and remember to set an extra plate for that unexpected guest. God Bless and a Happy Christmas to you all.
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