A RECIPE FOR HOLIDAY CHEER!
Looking a recipe for some holiday cheer?
Take one part positive energy, two sparkling eyes and mix in a big, beautiful smile of Brigitte Saint-Vincent, and youll get the best turkey recipe all wrapped up.
My holidays started more stressful then cheerful!
It all began with me in a hurry, rushing from counter to counter in the Atwater market in Montréal, searching for a 15 pound turkey. I hoped it would be fast 3 minutes was all I had in between appointments!
The first counter I went to had 6 people preparing meat not one came to serve me. At the second counter, a man nodded at me and turned his back to me to wash something. When I politely asked if he could help me, he mumbled that I should ask the girl. He went into the fridge to get her, and the next thing I know theres a huge fight about who should be taking care of my purchase. When I told them I just want a turkey, they get angry because I asked for the one item that hasnt come in yet. At the third counter, I am greeted by a young man with a sour expression. I asked him the size of his largest turkey he replies by grabbing the turkey and throwing down on the scale with a crashing bang. Thankfully it was only 12 pounds -because after that, there was NO way I would have bought it from that place, even if the bird stuffed and cooked itself!
Then. as I turn, the heavens open on a lovely young woman standing at the golden gates of Boucherie Claude et Henri. She had the face and voice of an angel, as she politely asked May I help you? Music to my ears!
My holiday saving angel was Brigitte Saint Vincent, the co-owner of Boucherie Claude et Henri. Theres a magazine cover on the wall with her photo on it. Shes won the La semaine verte award for best farmer in 2002 and 2003 and now sits on the distinguished panel of judges.
While I get my 15 pound turkey, I took the time to meander through the store. I knew Id be even more late for next appointment but sometimes in life we need to stop and smell the rosesor in this case the meat!
I got my turkey, and much more. Brigitte gave me the Boucheries special stuffing of ground meats and suggested that I mix in cranberries, celery and onion. I also buy her homemade chicken broth to pour in the bottom of the pan.
Now the fun stuff for a wannabe chef like me.a lesson on cooking turkey!
Brigitte Saint Vincents instructions for a flawless holiday turkey.
Stuff the turkey and reserve enough to make little miniature meatballs to put around the turkey directly into the pan.
Rub the skin with butter or oil and then season the bird evenly with a combination of pressed garlic, chopped rosemary, paprika,salt and pepper.
Next, put the turkey breast side down into the pan, pour in the broth and and roast the turkey at 350 degrees for one hour to let all the juices flow into the fleshy part and allow the skin on the bottom to crisp as well. Then flip the turkey right side up and continue the cooking at 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound, basting it often.
At one point during the cooking process, I did cover the pan as the skin had already turned a perfect shade of golden brown.
Something in this recipe worked because 5 hours later..Perfection!
The most glorious looking and smelling turkey came out of my oven, its succulent aroma made my dinner guest salivate even as they walked through my front door.
You know you have a successful recipe when after the meal, the stuffing is gone and the carcass of what was once a huge turkey is all thats left to make soup with!
It was that delicious!!
So to Brigitte and all the people at Boucherie Claude et Henri in the Atwater Market, I say thank you!
Happy holidays to all and to all a good night!