Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers! I hope you had a thankful Thanksgiving. It was a beautiful weekend here in the GTA. The sun was shining and the fall colours were spectacular. Our table was loaded with our favourite Thanksgiving fare: Roasted Turkey, Stuffing, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and a new addition – La Canadiana Empanadas. I want to thank my Mom and sister for their help in setting up the table and contributing to our feast. Thank you Efi for your delicious Apple and Pumpkin Pies. They made for a comforting end of the meal.
The day before Thanksgiving I was stopped by another customer who wanted to know how to cook a turkey. I was delighted to help the man as he wanted to give his family a Canadian experience. However, I felt a bit anxious for the man because he decided to purchase a whole turkey. Even for the seasoned home cook roasting a whole turkey can be a daunting activity. This Thanksgiving I thought I would be good to myself and roast turkey breasts instead of a whole turkey to save on time. The recipe below is the cooking directions I gave to this new Canadian. Try it next Thanksgiving if you want to save time in kitchen so that you can enjoy your guests.
Roasted Turkey Breast
2 turkey breasts
3 celery stalks
1 onion, quartered
4 to 5 garlic cloves
3 to 4 bay leaves
1 tbsp basil
1/2 tbsp sage
1/2 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp rosemary
1 cup chicken stock
1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. Pour a good helping of olive oil over the turkey breast and then squeeze the lemon over the turkey breast as well. Sprinkle on all the dried herbs and rub into the turkey breast. Make sure to get all the crevices so that every inch of the turkey gets the aromatic pleasures of the seasonal herbs: basil, sage, thyme and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the celery, carrots, onion, garlic and bay leaves on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Pour in the cup of chicken stock. Last place the turkey breasts on top of the vegetables.
4. Start roasting the turkey at 450F for 30 minutes. This allows the skin to crisp up straight away.
5. After 30 minutes of cooking at 450F, lower the heat of the oven to 400F and continue roasting for 1 hour. Lowering the temperature of the oven and cooking the turkey for a long period of time will ensure you have a moist bird.
6. After the 1 hour of roasting, uncover the roasting pan and continue roasting for another 30 minutes so that the top of turkey browns up nicely. The internal temperature of the turkey breast should be in between 82F and 85F to be cooked through.