Stretching Money Cooking Turkeys Is Great
A lot of people forget about cooking turkeys unless they are having a large gathering or celebrating a holiday. Some believe it is a lot of work and not worth the effort. The truth is that cooking a t...
A lot of people forget about cooking turkeys unless they are having a large gathering or celebrating a holiday. Some believe it is a lot of work and not worth the effort. The truth is that cooking a turkey does not have to be an ordeal that consumes a great deal of time, is as versatile as chicken, and can save people quite a bit of money.
First off, remember the "golden rule" of turkey cooking - waste nothing. Every single portion, from skin to bone, to gizzard and organ meat, will be used. There will likely be just about nothing for the trash bin. The number of meals that can be prepared using this one good size bird is truly amazing. On night one consider cooking a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. This may seem like a lot of work at the beginning, but in the end it pays off and saves time in the future. After the big meal, just relax and place the cooled turkey in the refrigerator. On the next day remove all meat and skin and discard nothing. Keep wings, legs, white meat and dark separate in order to make storage more organized.
Place the cleaned carcass into a large stock pot filled with water and allow it to boil. Add a bit of salt, pepper, celery, and a few herbs. Allow it to simmer for a while and then let it cool in the pan. Once the liquid has cooled, strain all of the bones. Anyone who has seen the cost of commercial stock in the grocery store will be thrilled with the savings here. This stock can be poured into freezer safe jars and saved for when it is needed. Soups, stews, and countless other simple and elaborate recipes will call for this stock.
Turkey skin generally has a layer of fat and a lot of flavor. Place the skin into a saute pan with a very small amount of oil. Only use enough oil to keep it from sticking to the pan. After a few minutes the fat will begin to melt and release the trapped flavor. Once the skin has shrunken and turned less brown, pour in a bit of the prepared stock. This will make the best, most flavorful gravy or stew base imaginable.
Night two leftovers can become some of the best comfort food ever. Try open face turkey sandwiches with gravy, stuffing and cranberry relish, and maybe green beans on the side. The family will probably be asking for a second helping. Turn leftover rolls into garlic toast to serve with a casserole. Prepare the casserole at the same time dinner is being made in order to save time. These may be frozen until needed.
For quicker meal preparation, instead of cooking the whole turkey separate the whole bird and use what is needed. Freeze the rest for another day. Slice breasts, remove legs and wings, and toss the carcass in a pot of water... Simple, fast, and cost effective.
Be creative. Try a recipe that calls for a different meat and substitute it with turkey. Turkey fettuccine Alfredo, omelets, crepes', and so much more will be a nice treat for an unsuspecting family. Maybe spaghetti sauce... Use the imagination and have fun.
Cooking turkeys is a great idea for large family gatherings. It is also a perfect idea any night of the week. Get ready for a whole new experience and savings on the grocery bill.
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