On the Fifth Day of Christmas... Delicious Turkey

Turkey... for most people Christmas dinner is not complete without it. If the turkey is dry or lacking flavour, dinner is not usually considered a success. Turkey causes the most stress for most people taking on the huge task of cooking Christmas dinner - whether its for your immediate family members or for your extended family plus all of your "closest friends". So its important to start with a great recipe and some awesome tips! Hopefully this post will give you a good start.

And, lets not forget the gravy - it is equally important and can cover a multitude of culinary sins when poured over a plate! It can moisten dry turkey and give flavour to not-so-perfect mashed potatoes! So I've got a great gravy recipe to share with you! It got rave reviews at our Thanksgiving dinner and I know it will be a hit at your Christmas dinner too.

Roast Turkey
Recipe adapted from Canadian Living Everyday Favorites


  • 15 lb turkey (preferably a fresh, never frozen turkey)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp each dried sage and thyme
  • 1 tsp coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
  • bacon (about 1/2 a package, but buy a nice big package because you'll want the other half of the bacon to go in your stuffing!)
  • fresh thyme, rosemary and sage sprigs
  • whole head garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 1/4 of a large onion, chopped into coarse chunks
  • 1/4 of an apple, coarsely chopped
  • a few bottles of dark beer (approximately 1/2 a bottle for each 1/2 hour of cooking)


  1. Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Place in large saucepan and set aside.
  2. Rinse turkey inside and outside and then pat dry inside and out. Loosely fill cavity with fresh herb sprigs, garlic, onion, and apple chunks. Don't over stuff it. You just want those yummy ingredients in there to give it some delicious flavour. Lift wings and twist under back. Tuck legs under band of skin or tie together with kitchen twine.
  3. Immediately place turkey, breast side up, on rack in roasting pan. In small bowl, mix together butter, sage and thyme. Rub over turkey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay strips of bacon over turkey until most of the outside is covered in bacon. Tent with foil, dull side out, leaving sides open.
  4. Roast in 325F oven, basting with 1/2 bottle of dark beer every 30 minutes, for 4 hours. Remove foil; roast until meat thermometer inserted in thigh registers 185F, about 1 hour longer. Transfer to cutting board; tent with foil and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.

*Note: This cooking time is for a 15lb stuffed turkey. For details on how long to cook your turkey (based on size and whether or not it is stuffed), please check out the JD farms website. Cooking time makes a big difference in the taste of your turkey, so be sure to keep a close eye on your turkey while it cooks and makes your house smell so delicious!

Recipe adapted from Canadian Living Everyday Favorites

  • 4 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • half a bottle of dry white wine
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup each sliced carrot and celery
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (you might need a bit more)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. While the turkey is cooking, to saucepan with turkey parts, add stock, wine, onion, carrot and celery; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and skim off the fat. Simmer for three hours. Strain into a measuring cup, adding enough wine to make 3 cups.
  2. When turkey is done, skim fat off roasting pan. Stir flour into pan; cook over medium heat, stirring for 1 minute. Whisk in stock and bring to boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain if desired.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do! They are delicious and have become a part of our holiday traditions. I'm sure you are almost ready for Christmas by now... I however am not! I still have much Christmas shopping to do... its on my to-do list for tomorrow. I did get my Christmas cards out today (finally!) though! They may be a day or two late though.

Happy Cooking my Friends!

1 comment:

  1. Turkey all dressed in bacon? Now that's what I call a turkey!