Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Or as I always think of it, the day where I stuff myself with delicious food then feel sick for about an hour.

As you can probably see there are no photos this Monday (sorry I’m a day late). When the food was done we surrounded the bird and what was left was no cook book image.

Saturday morning I woke up and began the turkey which had been defrosting since Tuesday. It was still a little frosty but pliable for movement. This was the first time for me to cook a whole bird so I decided not to stuff it. After removing the giblets and checking the cavity for remnants of more I rubbed the outside down in oil and sprinkled the inside and skin with a combination of salt and pepper. I then popped it into the oven to cook for an hour and a half, checked it and repeated, all the while basting every 30 to 40 minutes.

Around three hours into cooking I added mirepoix to the pan. By now there was a good amount of liquid for the gravy I would be making. I decided not to go for the giblet version though, I was still feeling a little off since Thursday’s class of fabrication. By now the bird was starting to brown nicely and I went into making the dressing.

Carefully I diced up the needed vegetables and crumbled up the bread into nice little squares. Everything came together smelling delicious even before being cooked and yet I made the mistake of putting the tray on the second rack of the oven. By the time the turkey and stuffing came out I was devastated to find out the bread had browned to an almost blackened state; the turkey at least had browned beautifully.

Well into the garbage it went and out came the boxed stuffing. I would not be disheartened! I quickly began to make the gravy by sifting out the mirepoix, deglazing the pan and reducing the juices. After adding a cornstarch slurry and sampling I was pleased about the delicious sauce I made.

By now I had finished steaming the green beans, stirred in the boxed stuffing and was about to tackle carving the turkey.

I had never actually carved a bird before. Usually we just purchased the butterball breast box and just slice that into pieces, so I was a little nervous about cutting up the whole thing. I knew I wasn’t being graded by anyone, but it would make for good practice if I could do it properly. So out came Professional Cooking for Canadian Chefs and I began to follow the step-by-step guide. It’s actually a simple process and the slices of turkey looked great.

I suggest if you’re stuck with carving and a little doubtful you should take a look at the book as well. A sharp carving knife and picture instructions helps make the process simple.

It was a great dinner and next time I’ll try a different process to get the dressing cooked; perhaps I’ll actually stuff the bird so it won’t burn again.

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