Tikka Turkey


By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar

When I was growing up, Christmas was a big deal in my home. My mom went all out. She decked out the house in Christmas décor, holly on the staircase, candles everywhere and the dinner table was always the highlight. My mom always made turkey. My dad however always looked at it with a ‘bah humbug’ look on this face. I knew what he was thinking.

My Mom and I

My Mom and I

“Where’s the chicken tikka? Where’s my roti and why am I eating bland meat that’s not in a curry?”
When I got married, I was so thankful my husband and his family celebrated Christmas the way we did. With all the trimmings. And turkey!

My husband’s family loves turkey just as it is. As a mom today, I hope to do Christmas just the way my mom did, with all the cheer, love and food. It’s really a great time of year and probably the only time we all gather at a long table in the middle of a make-shift dining room.

When I found this recipe for Tikka Turkey from Pataks Canada, I was ecstatic! You may think why are we making turkey Indian? Well, it’s not something you have to do every year, but sometimes, just sometimes, you can surprise family with a little ‘flavour’ and who knows, your parents may actually appreciate it!

Photo: Courtesy Pataks.ca

Photo: Courtesy Pataks.ca

Tikka Turkey From Pataks Canada

• 1 fresh turkey (about 12 to 16 lb/5.5 to 7 kg)
• 4 tbsp (60 mL) butter, at room temperature
• 3 tbsp (45 mL) of Patak’s Tikka Curry Paste
• 4 cloves garlic (2 minced, 2 whole but peeled)
• 1 long, thin red chilli, seeded if desired, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped cilantro
• Juice of 1/2 lime
• 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
• Olive oil, for rubbing
• Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and quartered
• 3 carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch (5-cm) lengths
• 2 small red onions, peeled, quartered
• 3 sprigs of rosemary
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour

1. Remove neck and giblets from turkey’s body and neck cavities. Reserve for another use. Drain turkey of any juices; pat dry. Turn wings back to hold neck skin against back of turkey.
2. In bowl, mash together butter, tikka pasta, minced garlic, chilli, cilantro and lime juice.
3. Carefully work fingers under skin on breast of turkey. Place butter mixture under breast area.
4. Stuff cavity with lemon wedges. Return legs to tucked position.
5. Place turkey, breast side up, on flat rack in shallow roasting pan. Rub lightly with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Insert oven-safe meat thermometer in deepest part of thigh.
6. Roast in preheated 450F (230C) oven 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 325F (160C). Add whole garlic cloves, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions and rosemary. Cook until internal temperature reaches 180F (82C), legs move easily when twisted and juices run clear, about 2 to 2-1/2 hours.
7. Remove turkey from oven; transfer to platter. Discard lemons. Let turkey stand, covered with foil, 15 minutes.
8. To make gravy, strain vegetables, discarding rosemary. Reserve sweet potatoes, carrots and onions in bowl; Cover to keep warm. Pour pan juices into measuring cup, leaving brown bits in pan. Let fat rise to the top; remove 2 tbsp (30 mL) and place in roasting pan. Skim remaining fat and discard. Reserve remaining pan juices. (Should be about 2-1/2 cups/625 mL.)
9. Place pan on stove over low heat. Whisk in flour; cook until lightly browned and bubbly. Stir in reserved juices. Cook, whisking and scraping up browned bits in pan, until smooth and slightly thickened. Taste; adjust salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to gravy boat.
10. Carve turkey as desired. Serve gravy and vegetables alongside.
Credit: thestar.com

This post was sponsored by Pataks Canada, however all opinions expressed here are my own.

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