Christmas is just weeks away. Not months. Weeks! It’s funny how the holiday season seems to sneak up on me each year. I swear I was just getting my second grader ready for back to school and now I’m getting ready for Santa to arrive. There’s a lot to do. Gifts to buy and wrap (PS keeping reading for a giveaway that might help with your holiday shopping). Travel plans to make so we can squeeze in as many visits with friends and family over the holidays as possible. A house to clean. Decorations to put up. And, of course, lots and lots of baking and cooking to do. That happens to be my favorite part. I love to cook, and I especially love to cook for other people. Holiday entertaining is right up my alley. A great gathering has to have great food.
When you think of Christmas meals you probably think of turkey. Having that big turkey dinner will all the trimmings is a long standing tradition in so many Canadian households. Maybe you’re a turkey expert already. But maybe not. Maybe this is your first time cooking the holiday turkey. Whether you’ve been doing this a while or or a turkey roasting novice, we can all use some solid tips to get that perfectly roasted bird because. The good news is the experts over at Canadian Turkey have a series of videos to help you with your turkey perfection goals. Get advice on things like what sizeof turkey you need, how long it will take to thaw and how to do that safely, how long it will take to cook – everything you need to know is there. I feel pretty confident in the kitchen and have roasted many yummy turkeys. But you know what? I’ve never brined a turkey! Maybe this is the year I finally give it a shot! Need a little inspiration?
5 Ways to Make Your Next Roast Turkey Your Own:
- Experiment with different brining and marinating flavors – get creative with your own family favorites!
- Use a glaze to baste your bird throughout the roasting process to add a different flavor finish; think maple, cranberry, jalapeno, paprika, provence or bourbon, for example.
- Create your own rub of family-favorite spices for a unique signature style.
- Stuff the bird with a different selection of aromatics to customize and infuse flavor while cooking – shallots and thyme, apples and sage, onions and rosemary are all a great place to start!
- Create spiced and flavored butters or oils to rub underneath the skin and add a major flavor boost while cooking.
Outside the Box
As amazing as a traditional roast turkey is, there is just so much more you can do with turkey. Since there’s a good chance you will be feeding guests throughout the holidays now’s a good time to check out the other amazing turkey recipes from Canadian Turkey. From salads and appies to curries and ragus and even frittatas for brunch – there are a lot of great recipes here worth checking out.
I’m looking forward to trying out this One Pan Turkey Pilaf with Olives, Oranges and Apricots. Pilafs are one of my favorite ways to serve rice and this turkey pilaf has some really unique flavours in it – like cardamom and star anise, that make this rice dish anything but boring.
- 4-6 Canadian turkey thighs
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3 shallots
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 2 cups turkey broth
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ tsp. cloves
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 2 pods star anise
- 5 small pods green cardamom
- ¼ tsp. saffron
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup chopped apricots
- ½ cup sliced green olives
- 1 can chickpeas
- 2 stalks green onion, chopped
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1 tbsps. chopped mint
- 1 tbsps. chopped parsley
- 1 tbsps. chopped cilantro
- 1 ½ tbsps. sesame seeds
- 1 tbsps. slivered orange rind
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pan or Dutch oven.
- Thinly slice shallots and fry until golden, 1-2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Season turkey thighs with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Brown both sides over medium heat.
- Deglaze with white wine.
- Add turkey broth. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for 40 – 50 minutes until turkey is cooked through and almost falling off the bone.
- Remove turkey thighs from the pan to cool. Once cooled, discard the skin, remove the meat from the bones and break up into chunks. Set aside.
- Pour out the sauce from the pan into a heatproof container. Add water until you have 4 cups liquid in total. Set liquid mixture aside.
- Add 1 tsp. of olive oil to the pan over medium heat. Add rice, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and cardamom. Stir to toast rice and spices, 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add liquid mixture, saffron, raisins and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover until rice is cooked through, 10 – 12 minutes. Turn off heat. Uncover, fluff with a fork and cover again for 10 minutes.
- Add chickpeas, apricots, olives and turkey to the rice and combine.
- To serve, top with shallots, green onions, almonds, mint, parsley, cilantro, sesame seeds and orange rind.
Enter to Win with Canadian Turkey!
Are you done your holiday shopping yet? Would you like a little help? No I can’t go battle the holiday crowds for you but I do have this sweet giveaway that just might help a little. Thank’s to Canadian Turkey one lucky Mommy Outside reader is going to win a $75 Amazon e-gift card just in time for the holidays!
Giveaway is open to Canadian residents age 18 and over. One main entry per household. Enter using the form below. Good luck!