They have frozen buttered and frozen plain. The buttered turkey obviously contains milk ingredients. The plain has a label on it that says "may contain milk and soy". I have seen some Butterball frozen turkeys that have no ingredient label at all. I chose not to purchase one for safety reasons. It is very likely that they produce both turkey types on the same line, so cross contamination could be an issue. For additional info, take a look at Avoiding Milk Protein and their correspondence with Butterball.
President's Choice Turkey (Atlantic Superstore brand)
At the local store, I have only seen the frozen ones that are buttered. The list of ingredients includes milk and soy.
Compliments Turkey (Sobey's brand)
At the time I called, Sobey's was completely out of plain turkey, but they told me that it's free of allergens. The compliments brand typically lists allergens and has a good allergy labeling system. If you happen to find one and read the label please let me know what they have listed on it.
I was told by them that they have only one type of turkey, but it does not have a list of ingredients. You would have to call the 1 800 number to get more information.
They have a complete listing of allergens on their web site. I bought the Flamingo Frozen Young Turkey. Their web site states that the turkey is free from the top 8 allergens. For more information take a look at their allergy info here.
Now, on to Christmas dinner...
If you want a moist and juicy turkey that is full of flavour, I recommend Chef Michael Smith's recipe for Turkey Brining. I've been making this recipe for the past few years and every time the turkey comes out incredibly moist and absolutely delicious. I brine the turkey and use Kraft's Stovetop Turkey Stuffing. It's dairy/egg/peanut free, but it does contain soy and wheat. I also use Idahoan Original Mashed Potatoes for the side dish, which is milk/egg/peanut/soy/gluten free. (Yes, I realize that real potatoes probably taste better, but sometimes you have to cut corners especially when you're crunched for time and transporting the entire Christmas dinner, dessert and all, across the province.) The following are instructions on how to brine a turkey from Chef Michael Smith (but remember READ EVERY AND ALL LABELS):
- A fresh turkey, 12 - 25 lbs
- 2 pounds of sea salt (I use table salt)
- 2 cups of brown sugar (I've used white sugar and it turned out just as good)
- Lots of cold water
- A few freezer packs
- A large roasting pan
- 4 large carrots, 4 stalks of celery, 4 onions
- An accurate meat thermometer to gauge exactly when the turkey is done (absolutely essential)
- 3 cups of water, chicken broth or cider for the gravy
- 1 cup of whatever wine you are drinking (I replace wine with chicken broth)
- 3 tablespoons of corn starch
2. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Thoroughly dry it with paper towels or clean kitchen towels. Remove any excess moisture and dry out the skin so that it will brown well.
At this point, I actually stuff the turkey with a mixture of Stove top stuffing and mashed potatoes. Then, I put 2 to 3 tablespoons of Earth Balance butter in a bowl plus 2 teaspoons savory, sage, or whatever herb/spice I'm in the mood for. I mix it into a paste and rub the turkey all over, making sure to go under the skin. Earth Balance butter is dairy/egg/peanut free. It is made out of soy but they also offer a dairy/egg/nut/soy free version for those allergic to soy. Once I am done with this step, I proceed with the recipe as stated.
3. Cut the onions in half and along with the carrots and celery fashion a bed in the roasting pan for the turkey to rest on.
4. Place the turkey in a preheated 400° oven. Roast one hour then, without opening the oven, turn the heat down to 300° and continue roasting for two to three hours longer depending on the size of the turkey. If you have a convection oven, only roast for 45 minutes first before turning down the oven heat. No other adjustments are needed.
5. After 2 1/2 hours, open the oven and check the temperature every 15 minutes or so (or you can avoid opening the oven completely if you have an oven safe thermometer with a digital output on the counter which I thought was really cool until I saw the wireless thermometers. Now you can cook a turkey and have it communicate to you from the oven while you are roaming!!). Continue roasting until the breast and thigh meat both reach 165°. Let the turkey rest covered with foil for 20 to 30 minutes before carving and then serve immediately.
6. Pour off most of any accumulated fat carefully reserving any juices. Add the liquid of your choice, the wine and the reserved juices then scrape the bottom of the pan to dissolve all of the browned bits. Dissolve the cornstarch in a splash of water and whisk it into the pan.
For dessert, I strongly recommend that you visit Food Allergy Mama and pick one of her fabulous & simple recipes to make. Better yet, buy her book; you won't regret it. Also, if you're planning on attending any holiday parties or gatherings, don't forget to take a look at the Holiday Safety Report on Halifax AAG's web site.
Set the table, put food on plate, and enjoy!!
Have a Safe and Merry Christmas.