Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

Turkey Lurkey Time

 

 

Poultry is a collective term used to describe any bird that is domesticated and destined for human consumption. This category of proteins includes chickens, ostrich, duck, emu, and turkey.

The turkey has been flying around our planet for over 20 million years. Wild turkeys and heritage breed turkeys can fly but the domesticated birds can rarely take flight due to their size and weight. With the festive season of over indulgence bearing down on us once again many of us will not be flying around either as we say good-bye to our diet and workout routines while bringing on the carb loaded Turkey Dinners, the home baked goodies and all of the festive vices that give us hallucinations of sugared plums dancing in our heads.

On average Canadian’s consume over 148 million kg of turkey annually. At Christmas we will consume over 4.5 million of these birds. It’s not a wonder that we say gobble-gobble but only male turkeys known as “Toms” make the gobbling sound as the ladies called “hens” just make a clicking noise.

Benjamin Franklin proposed to have the turkey as the United States official bird instead of the Bald Eagle. Benjamin felt that the Bald Eagle had a “bad moral character” and did not reflect the values of Americans. Thankfully they stuck with the bird of prey because in my opinion “Turkey Dinner” sounds better than “Bald Eagle Dinner”.

Roasted turkey is considered to be a comfort food for many of us as we associate it with Thanksgiving, and Christmas; times when friends and family gather. It’s understandable that when Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Aldrin were over 380 000km from home dining at a table for two on the moon they ate roast turkey with all the trimmings out of handy little foil pouches.

In my career as a chef I have personally prepared almost 50 000 individual turkey dinners which would make one think that I’m a pro at it, but I am always just as paranoid now as I was the first time I cooked turkey because it is a challenge to cooking the legs to proper doneness without over cooking the breast meat. An improperly prepared turkey can take the fun out of the holidays due to its susceptibility to cause food poisoning. Often the turkey is the centrepiece of the Christmas dinner table which makes us want to roast the bird whole, personally I prefer to bone out the carcass before cooking it. This allows the bird to cook in about half of the time as a whole bird and lets me roast the bones separately for making gravy.

Regardless whether you choose to roast your turkey with or without bones my only recommended purchase for this years Christmas dinner is a good quality meat thermometer and adhere to the following the guidelines:

Always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling poultry, or any raw meat.

Defrost your turkey in the refrigerator or under cold running. Never thaw poultry at room temperature.

Thoroughly wash all utensils, cutting boards, counters and dish cloths that have been in direct contact with raw poultry and its juices.

Cook your turkey until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 85ºC or higher.

Always prepare your stuffing separately in its own container as it takes longer to heat up and cool down. All stuffing, whether cooked separately or inside a bird, should be heated to a minimum internal temperature of 74°C.

Have a happy and safe holiday season in and out of the kitchen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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