Thursday, December 23, 2010

No "Wine-ing" it's Christmas ...and Turkey Cooking Tips

The title of today's blog was meant two fold: (i) There will be no wine blog this week, because if you haven't been to the LCBO yet, there will only be Wine Tetras left on the near naked shelves, as all of my readers would have read the blog from two weeks ago and scooped up all the good wines and (ii) Christmas is a joyous time of year, meant to celebrate the best of the past year, so pour a glass of lovely wine and celebrate with all the people you care about ...and if your year had some bad notes, the wine will help you forget them!

1. If you want the moistest and tastiest bird ...brine your turkey. You can do this two ways: (i) fill a cooler with liquid brine and submerge the turkey for 24 hours. Before cooking rinse the turkey thoroughly and dry completely. Rub the turkey with olive oil and then add your favourite herbs (thyme, sage, etc.). Roast breast side down for two hours, then flip the bird and complete the roasting. Here is a good link for this method or
(ii) Use a dry brine. Coat the turkey with olive oil and then using 1 cup of Kosher salt, rub and coat the bird completely. Refrigerate for 24 hours before cooking. This is probably the easiest method and if this interests you, here's a link with all of the instructions on how to dry-brine your turkey

stuff your turkey. In the olden days (40+ years ago) turkeys were tough old birds, mostly free range. The cooking time was much longer and the stuffing helped to make the meat tastier and more tender. Today's turkey has evolved genetically and they are bred to be more tender, less muscled and cook 20 to 25% faster. If you stuff your bird two things may happen: (i) the bird may be undercooked and you give your guests food poisoning or (ii) in order to cook the stuffing the breast meat gets over cooked and dries out. So make your stuffing separately and add some pan juices at the end for flavouring.

WINE PAIRING - You can serve either white or red with your bird. I recommend a dry Riesling as the white (Angels Gate Riesling Sussreserve 2008, Niagara Peninsula; Ontario, Canada; LCBO #620104; Rating - 88; $13.95) and a Pinot Noir as the red (Inniskillin Varietal Series Pinot Noir 2009, Niagara Peninsula; Ontario, Canada; LCBO #261099; Rating - 88; $14.95 ). if you can't find these, there are also, many other wonderful Ontario wines in both of these categories, that will pair well and are reasonably priced.

In closing I just wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

All the best in 2011 ...Greg

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