I’ve had a 20 lb. turkey in my freezer since before Thanksgiving. I couldn’t help buying it at $.50/lb! We didn’t get to use it over the holidays, so we thought we’d go ahead and pull it out this week. The plan is to see how many meals I can get out of a 20# bird.
First step: Thaw the turkey! This may take several days, depending on the size of your bird.
Second step: Season the turkey! We combined 2 sticks of butter, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), sea salt, and cracked pepper in our mixer and gave it a whirl. Then, we cut little slices in the turkey’s skin and rubbed the butter mixture up under the skin, then on the skin, and finally rubbed the remaining butter inside the cavity of the turkey.
Third step: Rotisserie the turkey! In my opinion, rotisserie is the simplest and tastiest way to prepare poultry. As the turkey rotates, it continues to baste itself in its juices and all that lovely butter you rubbed all over it. Most rotisseries have a guide printed on the side of them to tell you how many minutes it will need to cook per pound. Ours was 8 minutes per pound.
2 hours and 40 minutes later…
We had a delicious turkey on our hands. We pulled it out of the rotisserie, placed it in a casserole dish, and promptly poured the drippings over the turkey to baste it one final time.
Meal 1: Rotisserie Turkey. The first night, we always just eat rotisserie turkey with veggies and maybe some rice.
Meal 2: Turkey and Dumplins. Pull as much of the meat off of the bones as possible and set the meat aside. Then, place the bones into a large stockpot with the remaining drippings from the turkey (for added flavor). Cover the carcasse with water and add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low and simmer covered for several hours. Discard the bones, and reserve the stock for turkey and dumplins. You may need to strain with a sieve or cheese cloth. Reserve any meat that comes off the bones and use in the dish.
Meal 3: Turkey Noodle Soup. In a medium size stockpot, melt 1 stick of butter, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 onion (diced), 1/2 green pepper (diced), 1 c. of diced celery, 1 c. of diced carrots, 1 Tbsp. thyme, salt and pepper. Sautee, then add 8 c. of water, turkey (as much as you like), and 1 box of noodles. Bring both to a boil, then turn down to low and simmer until noodles are done and meat is warmed through.
Meal 4: Turkey Fajitas. Sautee 1/2 red onion, 1/2 green pepper (sliced in strips) in 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add 1 Tbsp. Southwest Seasoning (I used Emeril’s), 6 oz. of shredded turkey, and warm through. Serve with 4 whole wheat tortillas and Yogurt Sauce (1/2 c. plain, low-fat yogurt, juice of 1/2 a lime, 2 tsp. garlic salt, and 2 tsp. cilantro). Serves 2 (2 fajitas per person).
Meal 5: Turkey Salad. Shred 3-4 c. of turkey breast and combine with 1 c. mayo, 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp. sugar, 2 tsp. basil, 1/2 tsp. celery seed, 1/2 c. finely chopped red onion, 1/4 c. chopped Craisins, 1/4 c. chopped pecans and salt and pepper to taste.
Meal 6: Turkey Chili.
Meal 7: Turkey Sandwiches (Sourdough bread, mayonaise, and turkey). If you like, add sliced cranberry jelly and some red onion.
Meal 8: Turkey Pot Pie.
If there’s any turkey left over after all of that, we will just throw it in the freezer for another delicious and simple week of meals.