Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I know Thanksgiving was last weekend but I cannot hide the happiness and had to share with everyone~  What is everyone thankful for?  I am thankful for my family and friends, acquaintances, my job, living in Canada, the amazing 4 seasons weather, good health and etc.  Lastly, I like to thank all the readers who have been to my site and gave me good comments for further improvements.


This year I decided to make a turkey because everyone around me were so excited about it and were discussing recipes.

First, we bought a roasting pan that fits my oven because we bought 2 that did not fit and had to return.  It was a good deal from Canadian Tire, $8.95, taxes included.

As a first time turkey, I did not want to spend too much money on it because I am uncertain if it will taste good or not.  Turkey was purchased from Walmart, 78 cents/pound.  This 8-ish pound turkey cost me $10.  Not bad quality, at least from my first time expectation.

Leave me comments on how to improve the turkey next time.

Ingredients

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1 Whole Turkey — neck and giblets removed

4 Springs of Rosemary

4 Springs of thyme

Bunch of Basil

1/4 Cup of Butter, room temperature

4 Celery Stalks

3 Carrots

1 Onion

1 Whole Garlic

Salt and Pepper

How I Made It

Thank you Laura Vitale YouTube Channel, Cooks Illustrated Magazine online recipes and Gordon Ramsay YouTube Clip.

1) Remove neck and giblets from the cavity.  Reserve it for future uses.  I threw the bag of giblets away because it looked disgusting, but reserved the neck for soup.

2) Clean the turkey with water thoroughly. Pat dry the turkey inside out with paper towel.  This was a dirty job. It felt quite disgusting, seeing the blood water and oils leaking onto the plate or drainer.

3) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

4) Roughly chop the carrot, celery, onion and garlic.   Place vegetables in the roasting plan.  Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper and oil.   Set aside.  Remember to serve 1/4 of the vegetables to stuff inside the turkey.

5) Finely chop the herbs (2 rosemary, 2 thyme, basil).

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6) In a small bowl, combine the fresh chopped herbs, garlic, salt, and butter, mix until it’s all well combined. wpid-20141012_005716.jpg

7) Further pat dry the turkey inside out.  Sprinkle the inside cavity with salt.

8) Rub the butter mixture under the skin of the turkey and on the outside.  An opening can be found at the neck area or on the bottom of the turkey.  You find a slab of skin that you can roughly stick your hand through, or a chopstick to separate the skin from the meat.  After doing that, roll half a ball of butter and place it under the skin, then press-spread it throughout the turkey.  Remember to do it at both the breast and the bottom, for even flavours and roasted effect.  With the remaining butter spread it throughout the wings, thighs and throughout the skin of the turkey.

9) Tuck the wings under the back.  Stuff 1/4 of the chopped vegetables inside the turkey cavity, along with a couple springs of rosemary, thyme and basil.  Use a twine to tie the thighs together.

10) Poke holes on the aluminum foil to allow the turkey juices drip in the roasting tray and to prevent the turkey skin sticking on to the rack.

11) Place turkey on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.  Remember to pour a cup of water into the pan before placing it in the oven for moisture and steam.  Pop the turkey in the oven for 30 minutes.

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10) After 30 minutes, crank the heat down to 350 degrees and roast the turkey for another 1 hour.

11) After the turkey has roasted for 1 hour, base the turkey with the butter-vegetable-turkey juices in the pan all over the turkey.  Return it to the oven for an additional hour, basing it with the juices every 15 minutes.  This will give a crispy skin and an even tone to the turkey.

12) Let the turkey sit aside for 30 to 45 minutes before carving it.wpid-20141012_182042.jpg

 

Improvements:  I can probably control the heat and time a little bit better because the turkey meat was a little dry.  I probably over-roasted it.  If I have a V-rack, I can probably turn the turkey over, to allow the spine side of the turkey to roast a bit.

As to the gravy, I collected the juices from the roasting pan.  It smelled and tasted so good.  I put it in a saucepan and used starch to thicken it.  I used a lot of starch but it was still quite thin and watery.  I tried, and I was hungry.  My patience just fell apart.  We just dipped the turkey meat in the running juices for enhanced flavours.

We learn from mistakes, right?  Practice makes perfect!


 

Here is the final result of the whole thanksgiving meal, a mixture of Western and Asian styles. We had the turkey, roasted vegetables that I put in the turkey, green salad, curry with meatballs and watercress soup ingredients. wpid-20141012_191723.jpgI originally wanted to make mashed potatoes and a mushroom risotto. The turkey took a long time and energy that I did not feel like cooking anymore.  Hence, my mother took care of the rest of the dinner.  I officially call turkey making, turkey-sitting day.  I really wanted to carve the turkey but by 7pm, everyone were hungry.  In the end, I served the turkey as a whole.  They cancut as much meat as they want to eat.  It was one great experience and a rewarding hearty meal.

4 people, we only ate 1/6 of the turkey and saved the rest for later.  We had turkey meals thereon after, for the next week and a half.  Meals consisted of turkey salad, turkey cheese sandwiches, turkey noodles, turkey fried rice, turkey and corn soup.  My mother even said, this turkey has served us well and a great deal!  So by saying that, I think she was impressed by it~  I think I started a new tradition in the family. ^_____^

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