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Aug 26, 2022

12 min. read

We all love holiday traditions—until they start feeling a little too traditional. This year, instead of tossing the same old bird in the oven all afternoon, try a new way to get poultry on your plate. Our two turkey alternatives both start with tried-and-true prep—plus some additional TLC thanks to a chef-approved brine or rub. Or savour a meatless meal with our tips for elevating your Tofurky roast.

Prefab Flavour

Chef Curtis Toth of The Hotel Saskatchewan, Autograph Collection (a CAA/AAA Four Diamond Award Winner) offers two ways to give your bird a boost before you cook it.


  • 10 L water

  • 750 g kosher salt

  • 750 g brown sugar

  • 80 g pickling spice

  • 25 g fresh thyme

  • 55 g fresh sage

Combine ingredients in clean, appropriately sized container. Immerse turkey and let rest in fridge for 24 hours. | ### Wet Rub* 34 g kosher salt

Wet Rub

  • 34 g kosher salt

  • 8 g black pepper

  • 6 g smoked paprika

  • 2 g ground sage

  • 6 g poultry seasoning

  • 24 g brown sugar

  • 100 mL canola oil

Mix in small bowl, then rub all over turkey, including cavity. Let rest in fridge four to eight hours.

An illustration of a bbq grill with a chicken on it.

Grilled Turkey

Extend barbecue season and give your bird some flame-kissed flair

  • Position a drip pan underneath grill grates.

  • Prep grill for cooking with medium-high heat (400 F)

  • Place turkey breast-side up in centre of grill.

  • Cook with lid closed until turkey reaches 165 F in breast and 180 F in thigh (about 2–3 hours for a 4–7-kg turkey).

  • Remove from grill and rest for 15 minutes before carving.


Aid moisture retention by giving your turkey a pre-grill massage. Gently lift skin around the breast and thighs and smear the areas with butter—plain or mixed with your favourite herbs.

A person holding a knife.

Sous Vide Turkey

Use an immersion circulator for succulent set-it-and-forget-it results

  • Break down the turkey into legs and thighs, wings, and breast.

  • Place breast in vacuum-sealable or heavy-duty Ziploc bag with a couple spoons of butter, a few halved shallots and some sprigs of thyme, rosemary and/or sage.

  • Do the same for legs and wings, keeping them in a single layer.

  • Submerge legs-and-wings bag in water preheated to 150 F

  • After about 3 hours, add breast bag to water; continue cooking 4 more hours.

  • Remove from bags, discarding shallots and herbs.


To get crisp, golden skin, pat dry your turkey parts, then pan-sear or broil them briefly over high heat—or use a kitchen torch.

An illustration of a pot with vegetables in it.

Vegetarian Tofurkey

Enjoy a meatless feast with plenty of fixins’

  • Line a Dutch oven or baking dish with vegetables like potatoes and carrots, chopped into large chunks, and tossed in olive oil.

  • Place Tofurky on a dish of parchment paper, then lay on top of veggies.

  • Cook according to package directions.

  • Remove from oven and carefully carve roast with a serrated knife.


Before your Tofurky goes in the oven, brush it with a glaze for added flavour. (Chef Curtis recommends a mixture of honey, truffle oil, thyme and butter.) Reserve some to reapply during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

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