A Catering Chef Talks Turkey

The Vancouver chef shares how to brine and roast your turkey to perfection.

To everyone out there brining and roasting a bird this holiday season, we know it’s no easy kitchen feat. To make sure all goes smoothly, we reached out to Chef Jasmin Porcic, Executive Chef of Edge Catering. He shared his tips for packing in all the flavours and juiciness to wow your dinner crowd this year. And by crowd, we mean a small bubble of loved ones. Here goes. 

When prepping for the oven, line the bottom of your roaster with mirepoix, that is, carrots, celery and onions. This will do a couple of things, Porcic says. One, it lets heat circulate around the whole bird, even the bottom, and those gravy juices will also have that delightful vegetable flavour. 

Brining overnight—in a water, salt, sugar, herbs and spices solution—is essential. This guarantees your turkey will stay moist, Porcic advises.

One of Porcic’s top secrets for a successful turkey is to brush the bird with softened butter mixed with paprika, to help get that picturesque roasted brown colour. If you brine your turkey with butter, there’s no need to baste the bird either, Porcic says. This way, you can keep your oven door closed, with your turkey safely roasting evenly inside.

Your turkey is done when it registers 165 F in the centre part of the bird. And a thermometer to determine this is a must. Digital is definitely preferred. 

Once your turkey has been roasted, cover it loosely with foil and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before you carve. This really locks in those juices. 

And that’s it. We wish you a happy brining, brushing and roasting this Christmas.