Sunday, December 7, 2008

TURKEY TIPS, post Thanksgiving

A typical lunch following Thanksgiving.

I am so happy to report to you that today is the last of my turkey left overs, whew. I am grateful though to have leftovers since there are so many people that don't even have food. So no complaints here but just happy to report that I can move onto some new flavors. Before I do I want to share with you my favorite Thanksgiving money saving tip!

The week after Thanksgiving, usually that Monday, I head on out to Sam's. Although you can find deals other places. I buy two turkeys. I know you are thinking, turkey overload. But, hey, this is the time when they are really marking them down so they can get rid of any left over turkeys.

I bring them home and defrost them thoroughly. I cut them up. Save the turkey legs for a dinner and freeze it. I then take as much meat of as possible and grind it up. This year I got about 4 1/2 pounds of ground turkey meat from one 20 pound bird. Then I put the carcass, the neck, and any other bones, along with the skin and roast it all in the oven until golden. I empty all that into a big pot along with celery, carrots, onions, bay leaf, and peppercorns. I boil that for about 2 1/2 hours or so. Strain it and put it in my garage over night (pretty cold out there). You can also put it in your fridge. In the morning, I scrape off the fat and voila, tastey turkey broth, sodium free. Then, when you make soup, you can add the amount of desired salt.

Now, usually after I strain the carcass, there are some meat bits still on there. I then scrape off these and make turkey salad. Yes, I use nearly every morsel I can. It's my way of respecting the life of the bird. I know that may sound a little kooky to some of you but I figure, if this poor bird gave up his life for me and my family, I will use every last molecule I can to show my appreciation.

So there you have it. No recipe today, just and idea for you next year.


Bunny said...

I have a question, it's ok to thaw the turkey out , then grind the meat and refreeze it?? Because I've thought about buying a turkey to cut up but didn't think you could do that. Or do you cook the meat then freeze it??

Lori said...

Hi Bunny- Definitely do not cook the meat and refreeze it. It will have a foul (no pun intended)taste. Yes, its okay to defrost it and refreeze it. When you buy it from the store it would be frozen. You defrost it. Grind it up and refreeze it. You can bring it home from the grocers, store in your freezer until ready to grind and then refreeze as well. Just as long as your not taking it from frozen to thawed out and back again too many times.