Thursday, 19 November 2015

Thanksgiving Roasted Turkey Recipe

Here in Canada we have celebrated Thanksgiving on October 12 but for my American readers this wonderful holiday is still ahead of them. 
You can read about my celebration here
I have not shared any recipes so perhaps this is a great opportunity to do so. I hope you will try them out for yourself.

Since we did not have a lot of guests this year my menu was quite simple.

Roasted turkey
Acorn squash with rice stuffing (vegan)
Cranberry and pear sauce (vegan)
Pumpkin Spice Cake – recipe here
Peach Crumble with vanilla ice cream
Fresh fruit platter

For a larger crowd I would also make roasted or mashed potatoes, tomato and cheese stuffed zucchini (recipe below), roasted Brussels sprouts, stewed apples with marjoram and cranberry stuffed glazed pears.

Let’s start with star of the night: Turkey

Always Moist Roasted Turkey
Prep time: 15 min Cook Time 2 hr 30 min Serves 10
12 – 14 pound turkey*
For the brine:
1 cup salt
½ cup brown sugar
4 liters vegetable stock ( I make mine using organic vegetable stock cubes)
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 ½ tsp candies ginger, chopped
1 tbsp dried thyme, when using fresh herbs, use 3 x more than recipe calls for
1 tbsp dried sage,
1 tbsp dried rosemary
Ice cold water

Sage butter or butter – 2 pieces, about 15 ml. each

*if you bought frozen turkey, begin thawing 2-3 days before roasting.

Combine brine ingredients in a stock pot that is large enough to fit the whole turkey. Wash the turkey, remove innards and place breast side down in a pot. Add cold water so the whole turkey is covered in liquid.. Mix a little to combine water with brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove turkey from the brine. Rinse it well and pat dry.

Prepare aromatics:
1 apple, sliced
1 celery stalk
½ onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
few leaves sage
1 cup water
Place all the ingredients in a small pot. Bring to boil. Drain the water and stuff the turkey with aromatics.
Brush turkey with oil.

I also put some sage butter on turkey breast. From the neck side loosen up gently the skin above breasts. Insert butter. As the bird roasts the melting butter will provide fat and aroma to the breast meat that tends to dry out quickly.

Preheat oven to 500 F. Roast the turkey for 30 min. Reduce temp. to 350 F and roast for 2 hours.
Remove from the oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand for 15 minutes. Remove and discard aromatics.

 Warm Peach Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream
Prep time: 20 min. Total Time 50 min.

Warm Peach Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream

1 peach per person min. of 6, sliced into thick wedges.

1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon of sugar
Mix in lemon juice and sugar in a bowl. Pour over peaches, mix gently.
Transfer to 6 small dishes or one large baking dish.

For top:
100 g unsalted butter, cut into cubs
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar (or less)

Chop all the ingredients till coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle the mixture over peaches.

Bake in 365 F (180 C) for about 30 minutes

Tomato and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini
Serves 4, Prep time: 10 min, Total time: 30 min

2 zucchini, about 8 “ long (20 cm)
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ small onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped – I double the amount of fresh herbs
½ tsp fresh thyme
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated

Trim ends and cut zucchini lengthwise in half. Scoop out seeds to make a long trench. Chop seeds and pulp. Place zucchini on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic powder.

Heat oil in a skillet. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add chopped zucchini, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes on medium –low heat. Add fresh herbs.

Spoon mixture into zucchini halves and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes in 365 F 
(180 C).

Acorn Squash with Rice Stuffing
Serves: 8 Prep Time 15 min Total time 1hr 20 min

1 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp. salt divided
2 tbsp (30 ml) melted butter,divided
2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tbsp olive oil
½ small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp dried cranberries, chopped
½ cup long grain rice
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped, divided
Pepper to taste
2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 365 F (180 C). Combine brown sugar, half the salt and butte in a small bowl. Place squash halves cut side up on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Brush the butter mixture inside squash. Tent with foil and roast for 1 hour or until soft when pierced with a fork.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté onion for 2 min. Stir in garlic, walnuts, cranberries, rice, half the thyme, remaining salt and pepper. Saute for another 1 minute.

Add water and bring to simmer. Cover and cook on low for about 20 min until rice is tender. Remove cooked squash from oven and stuff with cooked rice mixture. Drizzle each half with remaining butter and sprinkle with thyme. Tent foil again and return to oven for 5 minutes.

Let me know how those dishes turned out if you try them.

I would love to hear what’s on your menu.

Happy cooking!

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