Well, the holiday season is finally upon us. It’s been a great year for Prairie Box, and we’re hoping to catch a bit of rest and start 2017 just as strong.
Since we started in April, we’ve served tens of thousands of meals to busy professionals and families all across Winnipeg. It’s been a treat to hear that we’re saving people time and providing them with healthy, handmade meals every week.
That being said, everybody needs some rest, don’t they? And what better time of year to catch up with friends and family than when you’re stuck indoors. Too cold to BBQ, but too warm for the rinks to be open yet. Perfect time to recharge those batteries, get some good food in you, and maybe even enjoy a cup or two of Christmas cheer.
The Prairie Box team plans to go our separate ways over the holidays. It’ll be the first time the three of us will be apart longer than two days since April, when my partner Brandon and sous chef Jon helped me drive a U-Haul trailer across Canada from Victoria, BC.
We’re taking a week off to spend time with our families. Brandon has a wife and two kids, so he will have his hands full playing Santa. I’ll be flying to Germany to visit my girlfriend’s family, taking in the sights and enjoying some of the most delicious food on the planet. Don’t believe me? Google “German Christmas market food” and then book your last-minute plane ticket.
One of my favourite things to do around the holidays is (surprise, surprise!) cook dinner with my family and friends. One of my favourite things to cook is a big turkey dinner with all the fixin’s. I’ve got a turkey recipe that will really stand out:
Before you get started, make sure that you brine your turkey. This is one of the best ways of making sure that your turkey stays moist, and also helps the skin get wonderfully crispy. The brine also has the added bonus of seasoning your bird, so it’ll be even more flavourful. If you have a large container, you can leave your turkey in the brine overnight before you cook it, then simply pat it dry right before roasting. Here’s a recipe I like to use:
4 litres of water
1 cup of sea salt
4-5 sprigs of rosemary
4-5 sprigs of sage
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
4-5 sprigs savory
4 litres of ice water
Boil the first 4 litres of water, adding the salt and mix until the salt has dissolved. Pour the hot liquid into a container large enough to hold your bird, and then mix in the ice water to cool it down. Toss in the herbs, then add your bird. Make sure it goes in breast down, and that the entire cavity gets filled. Place the container in the fridge overnight.
When you pull it out the next day, pat it down so it’s dry before you roast it. This ensures that the skin stays nice and crispy.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and place your turkey in there on a tray with a rack on top of it, to catch the drippings. If the bird is unstuffed, a good rule to go by is 15 minutes per pound. The brine will make it cook faster though, so you’ll want to check it 20-30 minutes early!
Make sure that your turkey is 180 degrees at its thickest point, and you’re ready to serve! Pull it, carve it up and enjoy. (To decrease stress, cook while enjoying a glass or two of mulled wine)
From us to you, we hope you have a great holiday season, and that 2017 is your best year yet.
Lewis and the Prairie Box Team