Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Plan-Over" Turkey Meals - for those busy days ahead...

We knew we wouldn't be having Thanksgiving at our house this year, so I decided to cook a turkey anyhow. How hard is it to let it roast all day anyway? The Tuesday before the big day, I let it do it's thing and by evening I had a semi-cooled turkey with lots of broth to make (literally!) quarts of that heavenly turkey gravy. I use my hand mixer to stir 1 cup of flour into 1 cup of water till smooth - then I add an extra cup of water. I keep this by the stove and stir it into the hot broth for the best turkey gravy ever. I keep adding this thick liquid starch in small amounts till the gravy is just the right thickness. All you need to add is a little salt if necessary.

All I had to do was allow it to stand about an hour to cool off, debone, and separate it into two large zip-locs - one for light meat, and one for dark. We prefer the darker meat around here... but the breast meat is very usable also.

That was so simple, that I decided to make a batch of mashed potatoes as well. I stored that, along with the turkey gravy - and we had ample leftovers for this past weekend. I even had some rolls I had put right into the freezer the Sunday before - so turkey sandwiches were easy.

With lots of homeless turkeys in your grocery store this "week after" - you should be able to get a real deal on a big bird. What can't be used can easily be frozen, or made into individual meals to send home with your college students.

Don't forget to drain off the last of the broth remaining in the roaster after the turkey is boned. It has a more concentrated flavor than the earlier broth, and you won't know what you're missing if you pour it off and let it go to waste. It makes great "turkey noodles" - a great comfort food around here.

Check back soon for a really easy, delicious recipe for using the somewhat-dry light breast meat.

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