A Turkey Plan

In November, when turkeys were 59 cents a pound, I bought as many as my freezer would hold. They were about 20 pounds each and I wondered how many meals I could make out of approximately $12 worth of meat.

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#1  Turkey and gravy

The first night we had turkey and gravy with lots of sides. I did not put the turkey on the table and let the ravenous boys demolish it, but served it from the kitchen so I could keep an eye on the portion sizes. I recommend sides such as a big green salad, any kind of potatoes, and rolls. I didn't feel like fussing, so I just sprinkled salt and pepper all over the raw turkey and baked it according to its weight. (Confession- I really popped it in the oven at 325° and went to church for a four hours. I didn't time it at all because it was still partially frozen and I knew a 20 pound bird was going to take forever. I took it out when it looked done and the juices ran clear when I poked it in the thigh.)

For the second meal I sliced up enough white meat to feed our family of nine again and froze it in the leftover gravy. This is wonderful on an evening when it is just impossible to prepare a nice meal from scratch. I pop the whole frozen thing into a pan with a lid and reheat on medium low while I cook another pot of frozen vegetables to go with it. 

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#2 Stock and Thai Turkey Noodle Soup

 The next day I cut all the meat off the bones and make turkey stock to use in other recipes. I need two cups for the Turkey Tetrazzini and all the rest goes to the soup. I use the turkey that I pull off the bones after the stock is finished in the soup. This soup feeds us twice if we have a salad to go with it AND I post a guard to keep the boys from going back for thirds. It would freeze well if frozen without the noodles. 

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#3 Turkey Tetrazzini (makes two or three 9"x 13" pans)

This recipe is from a cookbook published in 1972 called McCall's Cooking School.  There are many wonderful recipes in this book and some (ahem) interesting ones too (chicken salad in aspic, anyone?). Anyway, THIS recipe has been a favorite since I first made it in 1996. This is the real deal with homemade sauce, not condensed soup!  I added more pasta and mushrooms and had enough to make three pans instead of the original two. This recipe was also the first one that made me realize I could double a recipe and freeze one for later with the same amount of work and clean-up.  This freezes great!

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#4 Turkey Curry

This recipe is supposed to feed ten, but I cooked extra brown rice (4 cups raw) and made it stretch from one 9x13 inch pan to an additional 8x8 inch pan. We ate the 9x13 for dinner and had the smaller pan with more veggies on the side for lunch the next day. This freezes very well in a ziplock bag without the rice. Lay the bag flat on a cookie sheet until frozen so it will take less freezer space.


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#5 Turkey Stew

This is a hearty soup with fluffy dropped dumplings. I suppose it would freeze fine, but you would want to make the dumplings fresh and not freeze those. 

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#6 Turkey Pot Pie

Favorite family recipe given to me by an old friend about 20 years ago. I will make two to four of these, depending on how much turkey I have left. Instead of cooking the meat as in the original recipe, I spread the chopped cooked turkey on the bottom of the pans and begin the recipe with 7 cups of water and cook the vegetables until they are done, probably 15-20 minutes instead of 45.

That is at least 13 meals from an $12 turkey. Going out for a  steak sounds nice about now.

© Being Fruitful, 2012