Serves 10 to 12.
There are dozens of ways to roast turkey. Our preferred method is roasting a brined bird. Since brining a turkey requires it to be marinated for up to 14 hours, start this recipe the day before with a fresh or completely thawed turkey (see “Safe thawing tips” below).
If not buying fresh, here are a few simple ways to thaw frozen turkey safely. Be sure to allow yourself a few days if using the conventional method.
Plan ahead. Place frozen turkey, in its original, unopened wrapper, breast side up in deep tray to prevent juices from leaking into your refrigerator. Place in 40 F (4.5 C) refrigerator and allow about 24 hours per 4 to 5 lbs (2 to 2.5 kg) of bird. A 10 lb (5 kg) bird will take about 2 to 2 1/2 days. A 15 lb (7.5 kg) bird will take almost 4 days.
Be sure frozen turkey is in leak-proof bag. Submerge bag in cold water (do not use warm or hot water). Leaving at room temperature, thaw bird, changing cold water every 30 minutes per 1 lb (450 g) of turkey. A 10 lb (5 kg) bird will take about 5 hours. A 15 lb (7.5 kg) bird will take about 7 hours.
To make brine, combine 5 L water with sugar and salt in very, very large stockpot. The pot must be large enough to contain a 10 lb (5 kg) bird plus 5 L water to fully submerge bird. It will also need to be refrigerated for 12 hours or overnight, so youu2019ll need to allow for ample shelf space in the refrigerator.
Place stockpot over high heat; add peppercorns, sage, bay leaves, and rosemary; and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from heat; cool slightly before placing in refrigerator to chill.
When brine has cooled, strain out herbs with sieve. Remove giblets and neck from cavity of bird, and reserve for gravy. Gently submerge turkey in brine, making sure cavity fills with liquid. Place a plate on top of turkey to keep it submerged. Place stockpot with turkey into refrigerator and marinate in brine for at least 12 to 14 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C). Remove turkey from brine, rinse under cold water, and pat dry with paper towel. Place turkey on rack in large roasting pan and tie legs together with kitchen twine. Rub with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place turkey in oven, reduce temperature to 325 F (170 C), and roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 185 F (85 C), about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Tent turkey with foil, and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring to carving platter.
While turkey is roasting, prepare gravy. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil in large, heavy saucepan. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sauteu0301 until soft. Coarsely chop giblets and neck and add. Continue to sauteu0301 until vegetables begin to turn golden. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain liquid through sieve into separate saucepan. Discard vegetables and giblets. Then boil vigorously until reduced to 2 cups (500 mL). Whisk in arrowroot or tapioca starch until smooth. Continue to simmer until thickened. Set aside.
When turkey is done, strain 1/2 cup (125 mL) pan juices into gravy. Whisk in. Add seasonings, to taste. Transfer to gravy boat and serve alongside turkey.
This recipe is part of the Festive Fusions collection.
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.
Treat yourself to a steak dinner, using tofu instead of meat. The tangy chili-spiked marinade does double-duty as a finishing sauce and transforms otherwise bland tofu into a dish that’ll sound your taste buds’ fire alarm. Bird’s eye pepper would be a good substitute for habanero if needed. Dousing the fire If you find yourself with a mouth on fire after taking a bite of a chili-infused dish, don’t try to douse it with water. Instead, reach for a glass of milk. The protein casein in dairy is known to help subdue the flame. Water won’t help nearly as much.