Jerk Turkey – Thanksgiving Special

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Every Thanksgiving, I like to try something different with my Turkey. Jerk is so popular on my channel, that I don’t know why I never tried this before. I wondered whether to go with a dry or wet rub, but after much consideration, I decided that my original Jerk marinade recipe that was shared with me by my good friend Mary Rocto was best.

I made up a batch and although you don’t need all of it for the bird, I used it in everything, the brine, the stuffing, roasted veg, gravy and I even marinated a cauliflower to make a Jerk Vegetarian Turkey for my vegetarian guests that was a big hit!

I followed the same principals of Turkey awesomeness that I do every year – try to use fresh, brine, dry the bird, apply an amazing marinade and cook for the appropriate time using a Turkey calculator.

Years ago I spatchcocked my Turkey, this is great if you are in a rush as it reduces the cooking time considerably.

Some of my viewers have shared that they think cooking a turkey is a daunting task, if that is the case with you, start with a Chicken and work your way up.

Jerk Turkey – Thanksgiving Special

Ingredients

  • Jerk marinade
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  • 1/3 cup Vinegar - 60 ml
  • 1/3 cup dark Soya
  • 1/4 cup Lime juice
  • 1/2 cup Orange juice
  • 3 teaspoons of Pimento allspice - these spice berries are also called Jamaican all spice
  • 3 teaspoons of salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 stalks of small spring onions scallions 1/3 cup (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger (chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tbsps Garlic (3 large cloves)
  • 3 scotch bonnet peppers ( substitute habanero, Jamaican pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
  • Brine
  • 1/2 cup Salt
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 4 litres Water
  • 2 tsps Jerk marinade
  • Slices of Limes & Oranges
  • Turkey 7.6 kgs (16 lbs and 7oz)
  • For garnish - optional
  • Thyme & Grilled Pineapple & Orange slices
  • For gravy
  • Turkey neck, Onion, Mushrooms, Garlic

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Jerk marinade by blending all the ingredients together
  2. Prepare the brine and brine the turkey for about 24 hrs, making sure to turn it half way through
  3. Drain and dry the turkey completely
  4. Reuse the slices of limes and oranges by placing in the cavity for flavour
  5. Marinate the skin of the bird on both sides, in the cavity and under the skin
  6. Add some veg to the bottom of the pan so it can flavor the gravy
  7. According to the weight of this bird, this will cook for 4 - 4.5 hrs unstuffed
  8. Cook covered for the first hour and then cook uncovered
  9. Place a piece of foil on the top of the bird as that is the part that tends to over brown
  10. Turkey does not really need to rest like meat does, but you don't want to be carving a super hot bird either
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/jerk-turkey-thanksgiving-special/

Buttermilk brined Mustard Turkey

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Every year come Thanksgiving or Christmas, I plan on making a bird with a different flavor twist – I’ve done Spiced, Tandoori & Middle Eastern and this year I decided to give into one of my favorite things … good ol’ Mustard. Whether I use fresh or frozen Turkey, I have always brined my bird in 4 liters of a simple brining liquid and the result is a delicious and moist bird.

 

If you’ve never brined a bird, I highly recommend you try it. Without trying to get too scientific, the flavored brine a combination of salt, sugar and spices penetrates through the otherwise bland flesh through the process of Osmosis.

 

This year I decided to soak my 16 lb bird in a lighly spiced Buttermilk. Bay leaves, powdered Mustard & Paprika will spice the  delicate Buttermilk and marinate the bird for 24 hours. The next day I slather it with Mustard and bake it in my hot oven.

 

If you’re confused about the cooking and defrosting times, canadianturkey.ca has an incredible selection of tools for you – https://www.canadianturkey.ca/whole-bird-turkey-calculator/

 

#Shoutout

As most YouTube creators and Bloggers do, I had to tape and photograph this Turkey way before Thanksgiving. I couldn’t get a frozen bird as there wasn’t enough time to defrost it before I had to shoot. After calling several stores including all the major players Garden Basket in Markham were the only store that was able to rustle up a Turkey for me. Special thanks to Daniel from the meat department for making this happen.

http://www.thegardenbasket.ca/

Buttermilk brined Mustard Turkey

Ingredients

  • 16 lb – 7.2 kgs Turkey fresh or defrosted
  • Brine
  • 4 tbsps Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tsps Paprika
  • 3 liters Buttermilk
  • 1 litre water
  • 6 Bay leaves
  • 4 tsps Salt
  • Marinade
  • 4 tbsps Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tbsps whole grain Mustard
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsps Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp dried Parsley
  • 1 Onion cut in quarters
  • 1 Bell pepper cut in a large dice
  • 2 cups assorted Mushrooms
  • 1 lime cut in halves
  • 3 – 4 cloves of Garlic

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Turkey by removing all of the Offal and the neck from the cavity
  2. Prepare the brine by mixing everything together and pour over the Turkey
  3. Marinate this for 24 hours
  4. After 24 hrs, drain the brine and pat the Turkey dry
  5. Prepare the Marinade and rub all over the Turkey
  6. Add the lime halves and the garlic and place the Turkey in a roasting pan
  7. Add the Onions, Green Peppers and Mushrooms
  8. Add the Turkey Neck and Offal
  9. Cover and cook for 1-2 hours and then open and allow to brown
  10. Cover dark spots with tin foil
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/buttermilk-brined-mustard-turkey/

Grilled Cheese & Turkey Waffwich – Waffle + Sandwich

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Last year I was obsessed with buying a waffle iron, and like my brand new ice cream maker, it sat in my basement for months till I started making waffles and literally wanted to throw everything into my waffle iron. When I was thinking of new recipe ideas for my Easy Weeknight Meals and Back to School episodes I came up with this idea of turning a savory waffle into a grilled cheese sandwich called the Waffwich. Turns out, this wasn’t such a unique idea, but it’s still pretty damn good.

This is a great quick dinner served with ketchup and a side salad but is also perfect for those school lunch boxes. I added Turkey to my Waffwich’s because of my carnivore high schooler but it’s just as delicious with plain cheese. I chose to make my Waffwich straight in my waffle iron, but if you’d like to pile it up higher with fillings, you could just make the savoury waffles and stack them in the oven to allow the cheese to melt.

My waffle iron is round and you can break the waffle into easy quarters, this recipe also would be great as a snack for a kids’s party and a little quarter open face with filling and a dollop of mustard would make a very sophisticated canape. Enjoy

Grilled Cheese & Turkey Waffwich – Waffle + Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups sifted all purpose Flour
  • 2 tsps Baking powder
  • 1 tsp each Sugar & Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • 1.5 cups Milk
  • ½ cup melted and cooled Butter
  • 2 tbsps chopped Parsley
  • 1 cup grated Cheese
  • Sliced Cheese
  • Sliced Turkey

Instructions

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together
  2. Mx all the wet ingredients together and add the dry in 2 additions
  3. Add the Parsley & the grated Cheese
  4. Preheat the waffle iron and add about ¾ of a cup
  5. Close and cook for 3 – 5 mins, flipping the iron in between if you have the rotatable type
  6. Add Cheese & Turkey slices to one side flip the other half over to make a sandwich and press the waffle iron down so the cheese melts
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/waffwich/

 

Middle Eastern inspired TURKEY – SPATCHCOCKED

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Gobble Gobble! Cooking a Turkey is synonymous with feeding people you love. I always like to try something different each Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday and this year I made a  Middle Eastern inspired Turkey. The bird is the star of the show and done right, it can be juicy and flavourful  I love Turkey but I’m not crazy about the long cooking time, so this year I decided to drastically cut down the cooking time by Spatchcocking the Turkey. This means I will remove the spine so the Turkey can lay flat and cook in less time than it usually does.

If you’re never cooked a Turkey before, be sure to check the cavity of the bird. This is usually where they stash the neck and other parts of the Turkey. Store this in your fridge. I always like to use a fresh bird and I always brine my Turkey for 24 hrs. Brining ensures that the Turkey is flavourful and moist. This is a simple mixture of salt and sugar in 4 litres of water. I like to throw in some lemon slices before I immerse my bird in a bucket or container large enough to hold the bird. If you don’t have enough room in your fridge to hold this large container, you can sit this on your kitchen counter in cold water for two hours, or just skip this step. After the brining process you need to dry the bird out really well, I like to leave it in a colander to drain and I will follow that with a tea towel and wipe all the excess moisture.  It’s important that your bird is dry, otherwise it will steam in the oven.

Spatchcocking the Turkey was a bit harder than I imagined, I have spatchcocked many a Chicken, but the Turkey bones are much tougher. To watch this video make sure to click the link in this post.

Once the Turkey was ready I prepared a wonderful spice blend with the best of Middle Eastern flavours.  My bird is about 12 lbs so I should be cooking this for about 3 hrs and 45 mins, but because it’s spatchcocked, it’s only going to take 1.5 to 2 hrs. I’m going to start at 350 and increase the heat to 450 when I take the lid off. If you find it’s browning too quickly in your oven, cut the heat back.

Middle Eastern inspired TURKEY – SPATCHCOCKED

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup each Salt & Sugar
  • Lemon & Lime slices
  • 4 litres Water
  • 2 tbsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp Cayenne
  • 2 tbsp Sumac
  • 3 tbsps coarse Salt
  • 1 tbsp Pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh Parsley
  • 2 tbsp each Garlic & onion flakes
  • 10 tbsps Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsps Pomegranate Molasses
  • 12 lbs Turkey
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 green Pepper
  • 6 Mushrooms

Instructions

  1. If your bird is frozen, defrost it according to the package instructions and remove the neck, giblets etc from the cavity
  2. Prepare a brine by dissolving the salt and sugar into 4 litres of water with Lemon & Lime slices
  3. Immerse the bird in the brine and leave in the fridge covered for 24 hrs
  4. Drain all the brine, especially out of the cavity and dry the bird using paper towels
  5. If Spathcocking the Turkey, use a sharp kitchen scissors to cut along one side of the spine
  6. Turn the bird around and cut the other side, freeing the spine
  7. Jab the inside of the breast bone, turn the bird over and press down on the breast with your hands to flatten
  8. Prepare the spice blend by mixing together the Paprika, Cayenne, Sumac, Garlic powder, Onion flakes, Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil and Pomegranate Molasses
  9. Divide the paste into 3 and add chopped Parsley to one of them
  10. Try to lift the turkey skin very carefully and spread the Parsley mixture under the skin
  11. Use one third of the marinade to smear all over the Turkey and place in roasting pan
  12. Add the onion, green Pepper and the mushrooms to the bottom as well as the Turkey neck and gizzards
  13. Roast covered at 375 degrees for 40 mins covered and another 1.5 hrs open to brown the skin
  14. Baste with reserved marinade in between
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/middle-eastern-inspired-turkey-spatchcocked/

Tandoori Turkey

View step-by-step videoTandooriTurkey_PosterNT

Every year I like to try something different with my Turkey. This year we’re making a Tandoori Turkey. As usual I’m going to brine the bird and then slather it in Tandoori masala for a day before I roast it.

The best part of this bird is the homemade Tandoori masala that is slathered all over this.

Tandoori Turkey

Ingredients

  • Brine
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 liters water
  • slices of lime and some bay leaves
  • 6-8 pound bird

Instructions

  1. Step 1
  2. Defrost the bird. If you're using a fresh bird, skip this step
  3. Step 2
  4. Prepare the brine
  5. 1/2 cup salt
  6. 1/2 cup sugar
  7. 4 liters water
  8. slices of lime and some bay leaves
  9. Immerse the bird(remove everything from the cavity) for 24 hours in the brine in the fridge.
  10. Step 3
  11. Dry the bird. Add butter under the skin and slather the turkey with a double batch of Tandoori marinade or about 2 - 3 cups of the marinade leaving half a cup aside for touch ups. Cover and marinate for 24 hours
  12. Step 4
  13. Preheat your oven. Add more Tandoori Masala to the bird so it's evenly coated. In the bottom of a roasting pan add some green peppers and place the turkey over it. Add an onion and some Portabello mushrooms. Cover and cook and open to roast in the last hour. Baste every 45 minutes.
  14. Cooking time is 20 mins per pound.
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/tandoori-turkey/

Turkey Meatballs with herbs, spices, cheese & nuts

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TurkeyMeatball_HNTThis meatball encompasses all the flavors of a stereotypical Christmas or Thanksgiving meal all in one bite. Ground Turkey is mixed together with spices, herbs, rice, nuts, rice and cheese and rolled in fresh breadcrumbs before it’s baked to a crispy finish.  It’s the magic of the holidays all in one bite.

In this recipe I’m using lean Turkey because this is the only kind that was available, but dark meat would work well too. I’ve got one pound of minced Turkey and  I’m going to be adding some crazy favours of Christmas to the mixture before I shape them into meatballs. I’m also adding small cubes of Asiago that will form pockets of melty cheese. These meatballs are rolled in a breadcrumb, herbs and grated cheese mixture before baking in a hot oven. If you use a mini ice cream scoop, you can make an appetizer size or a regular ice cream scoop size would make a great side to a creamy pasta.

Turkey Meatballs with herbs, spices, cheese & nuts

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground lean Turkey
  • 1 tsp each Onion and Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup leftover while parboiled rice
  • 1/2 cup small cubes of Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed herbs – Parsley, Sage & Rosemary
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tbsps chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsps grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 tbsps chopped herbs

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and divide using an ice cream scoop
  2. Mix the breadcrumbs with the grated cheese and herbs and roll the meatballs in the mixture
  3. Lay on a baking tray and bake for 20 mins in a 350 degree oven
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/turkey-meatballs-with-herbs-spices-cheese-nuts/

Barley Stir fry

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I wasn’t intending to post this at all. There I was minding my own business resurrecting an old recipe I used to make for the kids when they were little, when like second nature, I leaned over to picture it. Instagram & Facebook later, the responses for the recipe were astounding.
So here I am putting down what I don’t even consider a recipe really, just something I’ve made a million times with interchangeable ingredients. Just for you. Enjoy.
Barley is one of my favorite things to make. I love it in a soup but I adore it cooked and sautéed in a stir fry instead of rice. It’s crispy exterior when it’s fried in contrast to the soft interior is spectacular. I’m going to share below the ingredients and the process, but remember this is very forgiving so you can certainly add and subtract as you like. Just remember to cut everything the same size.
Barley Stir fry

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups Pot Barley, soaked overnight and drained very well
  • 1 potato diced in very small cubes
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 3 – 4 sausages cut in small cubes
  • 3 –4 rashers of bacon(I used Turkey) cut fine
  • 1 green pepper cut into small dice
  • 1 cup left over cooked chicken cut into small dice
  • 2 cups fresh spinach roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • 3 - 4 tbsps light soya sauce
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Process
  2. In a large non stick sauté pan, heat some Olive oil and cook the potatoes first till golden brown
  3. Add the onion and sauté till golden brown and follow with the sausage and bacon
  4. Add the cooked chicken and green pepper
  5. Cook for without stirring about 3 – 4 minutes at a time so the ingredients get a nice dark colour at the bottom
  6. Depending on the size of your sauté pan, either take everything out to sauté the barley or make a well in the centre and let the barley caramelize a little bit
  7. Mix together well and add the spinach which will wilt and cook in a few minutes
  8. Add the soya, toss and serve!
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/barley-stir-fry/