Product Review: President’s Choice Stuffed Young Turkey

pc stuffed young turkey

For (Canadian) Thanksgiving this year, I prepared President’s Choice Stuffed Young Turkey. It was upon one of my elder’s insistence that I roasted a frozen, butter-injected, pre-stuffed bird as part of our clan’s tradition. Normally we have the Butterball variety, but I rebelled and chose a different brand. Plus, I was lazy. As much as I love brining and lubing up my own poultry, I had a hectic week leading up to this weekend.

Here I review the PC Stuffed Young Turkey in terms of quality and ease of use. Please note that at the time of writing this post, there was no page on the President’s Choice website for this product. This page is for a similar product, the PC Young Turkey Basted with Real Butter.

president's choice stuffed young turkey

Product Description & Use:

The President’s Choice Stuffed Young Turkey is a Canada Grade-A turkey with the giblets and neck included. It is described as ‘basted with real butter’ and ‘deep-basted with PC Normandy-style culture butter’. It is also ‘prepared with a traditional onion and herb bread stuffing’.

When I opened my package, I could tell a lot of butter product was added to this thing, with frozen pools of yellow on the breast. As you can see below, the flesh and skin were not perfectly pale as that of a fresh turkey. Honestly I don’t care and the meat came out just fine, but I know that some people with lots of money and/or free time would view this as a problem.

pc young stuffed turkey, unwrapped
For convenience, the legs were tied together using the turkey’s own posterior skin.

From the wizardry and hard work of food scientists, this turkey product comes frozen and is meant to be cooked from frozen. The package comes with instructions and a chart displaying estimated cooking times for different carcass weights. However, I found the instructions to be lacking in some key steps. They do not tell the user to remove the plastic giblets bag, which was frozen to the bird immediately before roasting. They also do not explain how to remove the giblets bag. I ran the anterior of my frozen turkey under lukewarm water until the bag was loose enough to pry off using a knife. But this left some frozen paper stuck to the bird because, interestingly, the liver and heart were in a parchment bag inside the plastic bag containing the neck. Thus, I had to chip off the paper, bit-by-bit, until the turkey was fully naked.

paper on pc stuffed young turkey
This annoyance put us behind schedule.

Once that was done, I placed the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and wrapped the turkey loosely in foil. The instructions say to add 1 cup of liquid to the bottom of the pan to prevent burning the drippings. I ended up doing this every few hours because 1 cup at the beginning was not enough. I removed the foil and began basting periodically for the last 2 hours of roasting to brown the skin. At this time I also put the giblets and some onions at the bottom of the pan to enhance the drippings for the gravy I made.

foil covering stuffed turkey for roasting
Ready for launch.

The turkey roasts at 325 °F / 163 °C until the thigh meat reads 180 °F / 85 °C with a meat thermometer. For our 14 1/2 lb turkey, it roasted for just over 7 hours until it was done.

pc stuffed young turkey
The stuffing at the anterior end burned, but it was a small price to pay when we play it safe with internal meat temperatures.

I scooped a lot of stuffing out of this turkey. It’s good stuffing, flavoured with onion and some sort of mild herb profile.  The following picture does not do justice to how much tasty bread dressing came out of this thing:

traditional onion stuffing
It’s a good thing the stuffing tasted lovely.

The meat was tender, moist, and flavourful. The dark meat was amazing. The white meat was not the best I’ve had, but it was good. The skin browned beautifully. The turkey cooked fairly evenly throughout except for the slightly burnt wings. This could have been prevented if I had tucked the wings under the bird in the middle of roasting.  I wish I had the option to tuck them under before roasting, but the turkey was frozen solid.

carving pc roasted turkey
There was also plenty of meat on this turkey, which was a relief after retrieving so much stuffing. Again, this could have fed at least 8 adults.

 

Pricing:

The per-mass price of this product was $5.28 per kilogram last weekend. Ours was 6.585 kg for $34.77 (about 14 1/2 lbs). This was enough meat and stuffing to feed at least 8 people, so the cost per person was $4.35 (or less) before any tax.

price of president's choice stuffed young turkey
I don’t live in Alberta, if you’re curious.

I don’t buy whole turkey often so I don’t know how this compares to other products. However, the per-person price seems reasonable enough.   Not cheap, but not expensive when compared to chicken or cheap cuts of beef.

 

Pros of the PC Stuffed Young Turkey:

  • It’s definitely a time-saver. There is no need to thaw, clean, brine, stuff, tie, or lube up the turkey in advance.
  • The meat is moist and cooked evenly when you roast it to the correct temperature.
  • The skin browns nicely when you remove the foil for the last hour or two of roasting.
  • The traditional bread stuffing inside is flavourful and most of it does not come out burnt.
  • If you love stuffing, there was a lot of it jammed into this turkey.

 

Cons of the PC Stuffed Young Turkey:

  • The instructions are clear about cooking time, but not about how to set up the bird and prevent burning of the drippings.
  • Thawing the bird just enough to remove the giblets bag was a pain. It’s a plastic bag that surrounds a paper bag and the paper was frozen stuck to the turkey flesh.
  • One can’t customize the flavour that goes into this turkey, i.e. no brining and no stuffing the cavity with additional herbs and aromatics.
  • The wings are not tucked under the body before freezing, so they inevitably burn.
  • This is a factory bird that has been frozen. The turkey is a little bruised with a bit of freezer burns, so it is not pristine. I personally don’t care but I know from similar reviews that this is an issue for some people.

 

To summarize:

I would buy this again if I were to roast another frozen, butter-injected, pre-stuffed turkey. One member of my clan even explicitly stated that they prefer the PC turkey over the Butterball version.

 

The opinions above are my own. I am in no way associated (professionally or personally) with Loblaws Inc. or President’s Choice.

 

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11 thoughts on “Product Review: President’s Choice Stuffed Young Turkey

  1. It goes against everything I was taught to roast a stuffed turkey from frozen, but I’m trying it anyway. I had the same issue with the bum bag containing the neck etc. It was stuck on pretty good but I managed to cut it with scissors and pry it a bit with a knife. It’s not Thanksgiving yet, so a 5kg bird was under $30, so that’s not a bad price considering it has all the fixings. The Butterballs were twice the price, and we’re not that fussy if the bird is not a beauty queen. One can always carve it in the kitchen and bring it out on a platter and the guests will still “ooh and ahh”. They’re programed to do it. I’ve never had trouble cooking turkey with all the trimmings, I just got lazy this time.

    I also had burned bum syndrome on the end of the bird, even though it was covered in foil for the most of the roasting time, and I used a combo of internal temperature and estimated cooking time to decide when to take that baby out of the oven. It cooked a little faster than the handy-dandy chart.

    Was the turkey moist? Yes. Was the stuffing stellar? It wasokay. You can make better stuffing.

    But for convenience, if you’re in a pinch time wise, or just don’t have the room to do the whole turkey thing, it’s fine. The gravy was killer with a little flour and water and some Club House.

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  2. I’ve cooked both stuffed and unstuffed PC Young Turkey for several Christmas & Thanksgiving dinners with great success. I suggest “tenting” the foil allowing air flow rather than wrapping the bird- this may help with the “burn” syndrome. The only add-on: I rub fresh chopped parsley on the skin before putting in the oven. As the turkey is often one of several entrees (lasagna, veal cutlet, breaded shrimp) together with sides I find it a “no fail” bird. Making gravy from the drippings is always perfect & tasty.
    Good luck – you may surprise yourself!

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  3. The author says instructions are lacking. So, based on the Butterball stuffed turkey directions, I offer the following:
    — Run warm water over the wrapped bird until the plastic moves around easily. Remove the plastic.
    — continue to run warm water over the giblet package while gently prying with a can punch / bottle opener (church key). If you want to use the giblets or neck, let the package thaw in a bowl in the fridge.
    — Place FROZEN bird in open pan, breast side up, on a rack.
    — Brush vegetable oil or olive oil or some such over the entire accessible surface of the bird.
    — Use foil to cover the dressing at the body and neck cavities. DO NOT cover the entire bird – you will enormously increase cooking time. The foil over the dressing will keep the dressing from burning.
    — During cooking, you will need to periodically add water to keep the drippings from burning in the pan. do not add enough water to go above the rack, or the back of the turkey will be soggy (boiled meat).
    — After about five hours cooking, loosely tent bird / pan with foil.
    — Continue to cook the bird for the time on the instruction chart.

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  4. I wonder if Tiffany had the same results as I did with my Thanksgiving turkey. I didn’t read the instructions properly, thawed the turkey, and cooked as usual. Whoops! It EXPLODED! The dressing spilled out, and then I made my second mistake. I left the dressing where it was – and it wicked up all the fat from the pan, so I had NO fat at all to make gravy. I almost made my third mistake today, as I found this site while searching for a way to make a complaint! Wouldn’t my face have been red when my reply turned out to be – “You dummy, read the instructions next time”!

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  5. I tried a stuffed presidents choice Turkey for the first time. Meat was tender I added spices on top and basted with broth. Some burning at the end and cooked in the right amount of time.
    There was so much stuffing but it was disgusting. Of course I didn’t know it would be. Managed to find a box of stove top in my cupboard so tried mixing with with small amounts of that horrid stuffing. Just to have enough to serve. Wasn’t a goodmove and so wasted a box of stovetop as well. I’ve had butterball stuffed turkeys before and the dressing was okay. Bought the PC brand cause it was the smallest one for what I needed for my Xmas dinner and a good price.

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