Many ways to cook Thanksgiving turkey

We are so fortunate in this wonderful country of Canada.

We are so fortunate in this wonderful country of Canada.

We have quality water from our taps and access to fresh food daily in our grocery stores or from farmers markets.

Perhaps we take this for granted because we have so much in Canada, however, this is not the case in many places around the globe.

Yes, we can give thanks for all we have in this great land, and the opportunity to choose from so many good foods, right from B.C. and Canada.

What I enjoy for my Thanksgiving dinner are potatoes, yams, broccoli, peas, a side salad, and turkey with dressing and lots of gravy. Like lots of gravy. Of course a nice dressing is a must as is some fresh, finishes of Thanksgiving for food.

What I like for Christmas is exactly what I outlined for Thanksgiving. There are always different subtleties involved in year to year with these dinners. The yams may be done differently, or perhaps a change in how the dressing is concocted.

There are also little things you can do when you are cooking the Christmas/Thanksgiving turkey that will change up the taste, somewhat. For example, using maple syrup — a made-in-Canada maple syrup.

Don’t forget to baste the turkey with some of the juices in the pan while cooking. Also, it does not hurt to cook the turkey for five, six or seven hours depending on size, of course.

Slow cooking allows more of the juices to stay in the bird, just like allowing the bird to rest before you ‘gobble’ it down does. It’s the same deal. It keeps more juices in the bird.

I hope your Thanksgiving meal is one of thanks.

I have used this recipe before and everyone who has tasted this differently cooked turkey dinner has really enjoyed the taste.

When the turkey comes out of the oven all shiny and golden brown it seems almost a shame to cut it up for serving.

Glazed Thanksgiving Turkey

• 2 cups apple cider

• 1/2 cup maple syrup

• 2 tbsp fresh thyme

• 2 tbsp fresh marjoram

• zest of one lemon

• 3/4 cup butter

• 12-14 pound turkey

• 2 cups onion and one cup each of carrots, celery chopped

• 2 cups chicken stock along with some reserve chicken stock

• 3 tbsp flour

• 1 tsp fresh thyme and 1 small bay leaf

• 1 tbsp apple juice

Boil apple cider and maple syrup in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 a cup.

Remove from heat and mix in half of the thyme, half of the marjoram and all of the lemon zest.

Add butter and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place oven rack in lowest third of oven. Wash and dry turkey.

Slide hand under skin of breast to loosen skin. Rub 1/2 cup of the maple butter mix under the skin of the breast and thighs.

Rub a 1/4 cup of maple mixture over the outside of the turkey.

Tie legs of turkey together and place bird in a roasting pan.

Cook for 30 minutes at 375 degrees and then reduce oven temperature  to 350 degrees. Cover turkey with foil.

Continue to roast until bird is tender, basting occasionally with pan juices. Take the foil off the bird in the last half hour of cooking to make sure it has a nice golden colour.

Four hours cooking time if it is unstuffed, about an hour more if stuffed. Put turkey on a platter and cover completely with foil.

Gravy

Stain pan juices into a measuring cup, then add enough chicken stock to make 3 cups. Put liquid in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil.

Mix 3 tbsp of the reserved maple butter mixture with the flour in a small bowl to form a paste and whisk into the broth mixture.

Add apple juice if desired along with salt and ground pepper to taste.

This recipe makes enough for about eight people. Good with leftover turkey.

A different way to cook your Thanksgiving turkey.

May you have many reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving!

Bye for now and Gooood Cooking.

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist for the Tribune/Advisor.

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