Let’s talk turkey! With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we’re already thinking about what to do for dinner. I know first-hand that roasting an entire turkey can seem intimidating though. What size turkey do you need? Fresh or frozen? If you buy frozen, how much time will it take to thaw? How long do you need to roast it? How do you carve the turkey?
Luckily, Canadian Turkey has all the info you need, helpful resources, and how-to videos gathered in one place with their Whole Bird How-Tos. Easily figure out what size you need, thawing time, and cooking time with the simple to use Whole Bird Turkey Calculator.
Many families do the big traditional get together and roasted turkey dinner with all the fixings, but of course this isn’t always the case. What do you do when you’re celebrating the holiday with just one or two friends or family members? A whole turkey makes sense for a large family dinner, but when you’re planning a smaller celebration, even the biggest turkey fan can have a hard time polishing off an entire bird with leftovers on their own. For smaller families, roasting a half turkey is just as delicious and festive as serving a whole bird.
The simplest way to do this is to buy one whole fresh or frozen turkey and ask the butcher to cut it in half for you. If you buy fresh, freeze the other half for next time, or if it’s already frozen, just defrost the half you need and pop the other half in the freezer.
- ½ turkey, 3-4kg
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions
- 6 large carrots
- one bunch fresh rosemary
- 3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
- ½ cup white wine (optional)
- ½ cup chicken broth (1 cup if omitting wine)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp pepper
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp ground sage
- 1/2 tbsp ground rosemary
- 1/2 tbsp ground thyme
- If your bird is frozen, place it in the refrigerator overnight to defrost.
- Pat the bird dry with paper towels.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Rub both sides of the turkey with olive oil.
- Combine all spices to make a rub. Sprinkle generously onto both sides of the bird.
- Slice your onions roughly into 1-inch rounds. Peel and wash the carrots.
- Pour wine and chicken broth into your roasting pan. Line the bottom with onions, whole carrots, unpeeled garlic cloves, and rosemary sprigs. Place the bird on top of all the vegetables, cut side down.
- Cook the turkey for 1 ½ - 2 hours until cooked through. Test for doneness with a meat thermometer. Turkey should reach an internal temperature of 170°F (77°C) in the breast and 180°F (82°C) in the thigh.
- Remove turkey from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.
- Make quick and easy homemade gravy to serve with your bird: Take your pan drippings and skim all but a few tablespoons of the fat away. Pour into a saucepan. Unpeel the garlic. Add the garlic and half the cooked onion to the saucepan. Blend with a hand blender. Combine 1 tbsp cornstarch with ½ glass of milk until dissolved. Add to the saucepan. Stir over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat until mixture thickens and serve in a gravy boat.
Wondering what to do with leftovers? Canadian Turkey has you covered there too! Check out their Recipe Page for unique turkey recipes and delicious ideas for leftovers.
Turkey Farmers Care!
For the eighth year in a row, Turkey Farmers of Canada and its member organizations are donating to Food Banks Canada so that rural food banks can purchase turkeys this Thanksgiving and give more Canadian families a happy Thanksgiving.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own. Your experience may differ.