It’s Thanksgiving weekend, here in Canada. Thanksgiving is officially tomorrow (the second Monday of October), but we had our dinner today.
We did pretty much everything different this time! Including the turkey. I had hoped to brine the turkey overnight, but didn’t have the energy for it. Well. Mostly, my hands were hurting too much. Either way, we normally would just roast the turkey, covered in bacon. To keep the turkey from sticking to the bottom of the roaster, I would put a layer of some vegetable under it, depending on what I have at the time. An onion sliced into rings, long stripes of carrot, pieces of celery, that sort of thing.
Turkey takes a long time to roast, though, so I decided to try something different.
I spatchcocked it. Something I’ve done with chicken, before, but not turkey.
It’s surprisingly easy to cut that spine out, even with the pain in my hands.
Once spatchcocked, however, it no longer fit in my roaster. Using a baking sheet meant I could use a rack under the turkey. I still added some thick slices of the Tropeana Lunga onions we need to use up first, under the turkey.
For the bacon, I would normally weave the sliced right on top of the bird, but tried something different there, too.
In another baking tray, lined with a silicone baking sheet (parchment paper would have worked, too), I wove the slices from an entire package of bacon. That got topped with another silicone baking sheet, and then I used a heavy marble rolling pin to flatten it out. After removing the top sheet, I used the bottom one to transfer the bacon mat to the top of the turkey. The final step was to add some water to the bottom of the pan.
I forgot to take a “before” picture, but this is how the turkey come out after it was done.
It took a lot less time to roast it, too.
After the turkey was in the oven, I got the mixed vegetables prepared, then spread out on another baking tray and added to the oven about 40 minutes into the turkey’s roasting time.
The mixed vegetables included some Uzbeck Golden carrots (I didn’t want to use the Black Nebula carrots, as they’d discover the entire dish!), more Tropean Lunga onions, the last of our own potatoes, plus a few store bought potatoes, some Red Kuri squash, sweet potatoes and, of course, the sunchokes. That all got tossed with some salt, pepper, garlic granules, paprika and olive oil. It turned out awesome.
When the turkey and vegetables were getting close to done, we made a soup as well. Something else I’ve never done before…
When I was able to visit my brother not long ago, we had peanut soup for lunch. I’d never tasted peanut soup before! My SIL had spent a long time trying to recreate one that she’d had at a restaurant. A recipe for West African Peanut Soup was the closest recipe she found, and she modified it to get the flavour she was after. I was able to take a picture of the recipe she used, along with her own notes for the things she changed.
What we made was a mix of the original recipe, plus some of her modifications, and it turned out really well. Among the optional ingredients was shredded chicken, which we skipped this time. The instructions also suggested one way to serve it was over rice. My younger daughter helped me make it, and we both found it funny when, after her sister had some of the soup, she commented on how it seemed a bit like a curry, and that she was tempted to put it over her turkey, adding that it would probably be great over a bed of rice!
Once the idea was brought up, both girls did use the last of it over their turkey, and decreed it delicious.
This is definitely something we will make again!
By the time we were done our dinner, none of us had room for desert, so that waited a few hours. For that, we just had a purchased pumpkin pie and some butterscotch swirl ice cream.
Meanwhile, I’ve also set aside a turkey dinner, including the soup, to bring to my mother tomorrow. She should have enough to last her a couple of days. 😊
If she’s willing to eat it, of course. No mashed potatoes and gravy, this year. 😉