Food

Tamarind Pomegranate Glazed Turkey

December 11, 2020

You really don’t need another person telling you that this is a weird year and the holidays aren’t exactly the same as usual, but I’m going to do it anyway. Look, 2020 is not a year any of asked for, but that doesn’t mean we have to let go of our holiday rituals and traditions. […]

You really don’t need another person telling you that this is a weird year and the holidays aren’t exactly the same as usual, but I’m going to do it anyway. Look, 2020 is not a year any of asked for, but that doesn’t mean we have to let go of our holiday rituals and traditions. I make a turkey every year for our big holiday gatherings, and this year, I’m going to make one for our family of five. Not only because I think we just can’t let this bizzaro year take that away from us, but also because I know how far I can stretch turkey leftovers. We may not be going out anywhere, but we are definitely going to stay in and eat well. Starting with a tamarind (imli) and pomegranate glazed turkey. 

So, I’ve roasted a few whole turkeys before (and BBQ’d a couple), but I’ve never made quite an indulgent turkey recipe as this one. I had a three part strategy for this turkey; glaze, compound butter, and some sort of citrus flavour. The glaze I had used on a turkey I made last year for my family Christmas gathering, and everyone loved it. The compound butter made with kadi patta and ginger, and oranges soaked in white wine placed in the cavity, really took things up a notch though!

Whenever I share turkey recipes on Instagram, there will always be some of you telling me that you didn’t grow up eating turkey so you don’t know how to cook it. There seems to be this misconception that cooking turkey is hard. It’s actually the opposite, as long as you follow a few key steps, cooking turkey is so easy. Once you’ve prepped the whole turkey, the oven does all the work! I’m going to share my tips for roasting a turkey below, and you can find lots more tips and tricks on the Canadian Turkey website. 

Remember, turkey is a great way to stretch your meal budget. If you roast a whole turkey you can easily get 3 meals, and a stock out of it. Turkey is a lean protein, that is also tender and juicy, and it plays well with pretty much any flavour. I’ve made it Manchurian style, in momos, and with a lemon sauce. 

So now, about that tender, juicy turkey I promised you. Here are my top tips:

  • Make sure you give yourself enough time to defrost your turkey. (It can take 2-3 days to defrost a larger turkey in the fridge). Personally, I don’t think you should try cooking a frozen turkey if you are a novice. 
  • Make sure you put a generous amount of butter under the skin and all over the turkey before cooking. 
  • Follow the guidelines for cooking time on the Canadian Turkey site, and use a thermometer to test temperature, do not guess!
  • Let your turkey rest for at least 1 hour before cutting it. It will still be warm enough to enjoy, and the juices will redistribute in the turkey. If you cut it too soon, all the juices will run out and the turkey could dry out. 

Recipe Notes – Tamarind Pomegranate Turkey

  • The recipe calls for fresh tamarind. This is ideal and will give the best flavour, but if you can’t find it, you can replace it with half the amount of premade tamarind paste. 
  • The compound butter called for in the recipe uses the following ratio of ingredients; 1 cup of butter softened, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbs ginger paste, 4 tbs fresh curry leaves (kaddi patta) chopped finely. You can find the directions for making compound butter here. 
  • If you don’t want to use white wine, you can also soak the oranges in apple juice or ginger ale. 
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tamarind pomegranate turkey

Tamarind Pomegranate Glazed Turkey


Description

Glazed with fresh tamarind, pomegranate molasses and brown sugar, this is the most flavour packed turkey you’ve ever tried. 


Scale

Ingredients

For glaze:

1.5 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup fresh tamarind 
¼ cup brown sugar
Juice of half a lemon

For turkey:
1 portion kaddi patta and ginger butter
2 navel oranges
½ cup white wine (or alternative of your choice – see notes)
Whole thawed turkey for roasting


Instructions

  1. Cut oranges into quarters and place in a bowl. Add white wine, mix and cover. Let rest for 1-2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F
  3. Remove turkey from the fridge and pat dry. Remove any giblets from the cavity. Stuff the inside of the cavity with orange quarters and any remaining wine in the bowl. 
  4. Lift the skin of the turkey breasts gently. Be careful not to tear the skin. Add the flavoured butter under the skin and push toward the neck. (You should use up more than half the butter in this area). Cover the legs and remaining turkey with the rest of the butter. Try to cover as much area as possible. 
  5. Place the turkey in a roasting pan with a rack. Add ½ a cup of water to the bottom of the pan. 
  6. Cook the turkey uncovered at 425 F for 30 minutes to give the skin a golden brown colour. 
  7. After the initial half hour, lower the temperature of the oven to 325, cover the turkey with tin foil, and cook until there is approximately 40 minutes of cook time left. A whole turkey needs to be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 F. To determine how long it will take approximately for the turkey to cook, use this chart. (link to: https://www.canadianturkey.ca/wholebird/roasting-a-whole-turkey/)
  8. While your turkey is cooking, make the glaze in a saucepan by combining the pomegranate juice, tamarind, and brown sugar. Simmer until the glaze reduces by half. 
  9. When there is approximately 40 minutes left in the cook time, remove the tin foil, cover the turkey with the glaze, and again 20 minutes after that. 
  10. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 60 minutes. 
  11. Carve and enjoy.

Notes

If you don’t want to use white wine, you can also soak the oranges in apple juice or ginger ale.

  1. Cut oranges into quarters and place in a bowl. Add white wine, mix and cover. Let rest for 1-2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F
  3. Remove turkey from the fridge and pat dry. Remove any giblets from the cavity. Stuff the inside of the cavity with orange quarters and any remaining wine in the bowl. 
  4. Lift the skin of the turkey breasts gently. Be careful not to tear the skin. Add the flavoured butter under the skin and push toward the neck. (You should use up more than half the butter in this area). Cover the legs and remaining turkey with the rest of the butter. Try to cover as much area as possible. 
  5. Place the turkey in a roasting pan with a rack. Add ½ a cup of water to the bottom of the pan. 
  6. Cook the turkey uncovered at 425 F for 30 minutes to give the skin a golden brown colour. 
  7. After the initial half hour, lower the temperature of the oven to 325, cover the turkey with tin foil, and cook until there is approximately 40 minutes of cook time left. A whole turkey needs to be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 170 F. To determine how long it will take approximately for the turkey to cook, use this chart. (link to: https://www.canadianturkey.ca/wholebird/roasting-a-whole-turkey/)
  8. While your turkey is cooking, make the glaze in a saucepan by combining the pomegranate juice, tamarind, and brown sugar. Simmer until the glaze reduces by half. 
  9. When there is approximately 40 minutes left in the cook time, remove the tin foil, cover the turkey with the glaze, and again 20 minutes after that. 
  10. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 60 minutes. 
  11. Carve and enjoy. 

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