We source our free-range turkeys from a local farm located in Drayton, Ontario. These Turkeys are custom raised specifically for Summerhill Market without the use of antibiotics on a vegetarian diet.
At home, be sure to store your turkey between 2°-4° C (33.8° – 39.2° F) in its original packaging until you are ready to prepare the bird for cooking.
STEP 1 : Pre-planning is key to getting the perfect turkey, try and organize your timeline the night before
Funny enough, smaller birds take more time per lb to cook than larger ones do. Cooking times will vary depending on the heat and capacity of your oven and on the size of the bird. Follow these guidelines for calculating your actual cooking time. Keep in mind you will need extra time before and after the cooking process.
- 12 – 15 lb bird will require 20 minutes per lb cooking time
- 15 – 17 lb bird will require 15 minutes per lb
- 18 lb and above will require 14 min per lb
Example: If you want to have your 18 lb turkey cooked and ready for dinner at 6:00 pm, you should consider the following:
- 1.5 hours for bringing the turkey to room temperature (from the fridge). This step is key to take hours off your cooking time. You will want to pierce the outer packaging to allow the bird to come to room temperature sooner. Give yourself 30 minutes prep time to chop your vegetables and season the bird
- Calculate your cooking time: 18 lb (turkey) x 14 minutes (cooking time) = 252 minutes or 4 hours and 20 minutes
- Add an extra 30 minutes for resting time after the bird comes out of the oven
11:40 am – take your turkey out of the fridge and bring to room temperature (1.5 hours)
12:40 pm – prep vegetables and roasting pan, season the bird
1:00 pm – preheat oven to 350 °F
1:10 pm – put the turkey in the oven (4 hours and 20 minutes)
4:45 pm – remove lid to get your golden colour. Baste every 10 – 15 minutes
5:30 pm – remove turkey from oven and set aside to rest (30 minutes)
6:00 pm – turkey is ready to carve and put on the table
STEP 2: Prepping and Cooking the Turkey
Large roasting pan with lid
4 large carrots
4 celery sticks
2 medium onions
1 garlic bulb
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup butter
Seasoning ( salt, pepper, rosemary and sage)
Prepare Your Vegetables:
Roughly chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery
Add the chopped vegetable to the roasting pan
Pour 1 cup of water or chicken stock over the vegetables
Season vegetables with salt & pepper
Prepare your Turkey:
Reach inside the turkey and remove the neck. It will be loose inside the cavity of the turkey
Locate the giblet package in the neck cavity and remove
Melt the butter
Baste your turkey with melted butter
Season your turkey royally with salt, pepper, rosemary and sage
Cover the lid of the roasting pan with olive oil. This is to prevent if there is any turkey skin touching your roasting pan and sticking to it
Place the lid over the turkey
Preheat oven to 350° F
Place your roasting pan in the oven (middle rack)
Follow the cooking instructions for your time depending on the size of the turkey
For the last 45 minutes of cooking time, remove the lid from the roasting pan. This step will allow the turkey to get a nice brown color and crisper. In this 45 minutes time frame, you baste the turkey every 10 – 15 minutes
Use a meat thermometer to test that your turkey is cooked.
Insert thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey thigh, pricking the bird just above the crease between the thigh and the part where the turkey breast begins and driving it into the thigh meat. When the counter reads 165° F, your turkey is ready.
TIP: Make sure your thermometer doesn’t touch a bone or you’ll get an inaccurate reading.
When the turkey has reached its perfect temperature, take it out of the oven, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it sit for 30 minutes. This will allow the cooking juices to be absorbed by the turkey which will ensure moist and tender meat.
STEP 3: Carving Your Turkey
- Carving the Drumstick & Thigh: Remove drumstick and thigh by pressing leg away from body.
Joint connecting leg to backbone will often snap free, or may be severed easily with knife point. Cut dark meat completely from the body by following body contour carefully with a knife.
- Slicing Dark Meat: Place drumstick and thigh on separate plates and cut through connecting joint. Both pieces may be individually sliced. Tilt drumstick to convenient angle, slicing towards plate.
- Slicing Thigh: Hold firmly on plate with fork. Cut even slices parallel to the bone.
- Preparing Breast: Place knife parallel and as close to the wing as possible. Make a deep cut into the breast, cutting right to the bone. This is your base cut. All breast slices stop at this horizontal cut.
- Carving Breast: Carve downward, ending at base cut. Start each new slice slightly higher up on the breast. Keep slices thin and even.