It’s Thanksgiving! Let’s talk turkey

Is this what your Thanksgiving table will look like? With a good recipe and lots of preparation your bird could look like this. Image courtesy of
Is this what your Thanksgiving table will look like? With a good recipe and lots of preparation your bird could look like this. Image courtesy of

By David F. Rooney

What are you doing on Thanksgiving Day? Roasting a bird? Getting together with family and friends? Both of those? None of those?

Here at The Revelstoke Current I’ll be wandering around town taking pictures of people doing what they do on a fine — but frosty — weekend. I’m also looking for Thanksgiving photos from you. Send me a colour JPEG of your Thanksgiving celebration by 9 pm Monday and I’ll publish it our Thanksgiving roundup on the front page. Send your photo to and share your Thanksgiving with everyone.

Sooo, have you got your bird? A lot of people have special recipes for their turkeys and stuffing. Personally, I like to roast my bird a rich, golden-brown with nice crispy skin. I prefer the dark meat with mashed potatoes, stuffing (but without mushrooms in it), gravy and salad followed by pumpkin pie. My partner, Sue, has her own recipe, which she’ll be using this weekend and I am really looking forward to carving up that bird.

If you haven’t got a recipe or have never roasted a turkey before, here’s one you can use:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F/165°C.

2. Remove the neck from the body cavity and the giblets from the neck cavity. Drain the juices and blot with clean paper towels to remove excess liquid.

3. Place the turkey, breast side up, in a shallow roasting pan.

4. Brush the skin with cooking oil or spray with cooking spray to prevent the skin from drying. Basting is unnecessary.

5. Just before roasting, lightly stuff the neck and body cavities. Do not overstuff.

6. Wash preparation utensils and your hands in hot, soapy water following contact with uncooked turkey and juices. Make sure to thoroughly clean work surfaces to avoid cross contamination.

7. Roast at 325°F/165°C. When the skin is light golden brown, about 2/3 done, shield the breast loosely with a piece of lightweight foil to prevent overcooking.

8. Check for doneness 30 minutes before turkey is expected to be done. Turkey is fully cooked when the thigh’s internal temperature is minimum 180°F/83°C and the center of the stuffing is a minimum 165°F/75°C.

9. Let the turkey stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Here’s another one you could try:

  • 1 turkey (15 lb/6.75 kg)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 stalks of celery, cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) dried sage
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried marjoram
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper


  • 2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock or vegetable cooking water
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar


Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for stock or gravy. Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry inside and out. Place onion, celery and half each of the sage and marjoram in cavity. Tuck legs under band of skin or tie together with kitchen string. Fold skin over neck cavity; skewer to back. Twist wings under back. Place, breast side up, on greased rack in roasting pan. Combine butter, pepper and remaining sage and marjoram; brush over turkey. (Can be prepared to this point, loosely covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

Roast turkey in 325°F (160°C) oven, basting with pan drippings every 30 minutes, for 3-1/2 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in thigh registers 170°F (77°C) and juices run clear when turkey is pierced. Transfer to cutting board. Tent with foil; let stand for 30 minutes before carving.

Gravy: Meanwhile, pour pan drippings into gravy strainer or large measuring cup; skim off fat, reserving 1/4 cup (50 mL). Add enough of the stock to make 3 cups (750 mL) liquid.

Pour reserved fat back into roasting pan. Using wooden spoon, stir in flour, marjoram and pepper; stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in stock mixture and vinegar; bring to boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until thickened. Strain into warmed gravy boat.