Thursday, November 21, 2013

What to do with all that leftover turkey...

I usually blog about insurance tips and techniques and feel free to go back and check those out..  I am a single parent and work full time.  I am always looking for effective short cuts and quick meals. If you read my blog yesterday, I gave tips and techniques relating to preparing and cooking your turkey.  I also included how to estimate how much turkey you would need per person. If you are like me I love leftover turkey.  It takes hours to prepare the holiday dinner, minutes to eat and then spend several more minutes cleaning up and storing leftovers.  I have a small family but always buy a big turkey. You don't need to spend the next week having turkey every night all the meals I am going to give you are quick and easy and the meat can be frozen and added to a few other key ingredients and you can have a fresh turkey taste.

My favorite is of course the turkey sandwich.  I usually slice some of the left over breast and keep in the fridge for a couple of turkey sandwiches.  I usually have leftover rolls too so I just slice, add a little mayo, salt and pepper and a generous slice of turkey and presto.. turkey sandwich.

I usually leave the other breast whole wrap in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil, you can also use freezer bags but just be sure to get all the air out to prevent freezer burn.  I will place this into the freezer and save for another meal down the road.  The breast will keep for 6 months, but I rarely wait that long to actually eat it.  When I am ready I take out of the freezer, let thaw in the fridge and slice for future cold turkey sandwiches or sometimes make hot turkey sandwiches too!  I usually store any leftover gravy in the freezer too.  If I don't have leftover gravy, the powdered packet is my favorite above the jar version.

Next after I have removed the breast I usually place the entire turkey, bones and all into a big soup pot add some onions, celery and a little seasoning (garlic,salt, pepper).  I have the pot with the strainer built right in.  I almost cover about 3/4 with water, bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for two hours.  Then I remove from heat take the turkey out of the juices and set aside. Now you have instant turkey broth.  Once this is cool, I put 1/2 into a container in the freezer and save for future recipes.

Once the turkey is cool I separate all the meat from the bones.  Throw out the bones.  I use 1/2 of the meat, the entire carrot and celery and dice and put into the 1/2 of the broth that didn't make it into the freezer.  Instant turkey soup!  I usually just freeze that too, and when I want to serve it I cook up a few egg noodles and throw it it! This is so incredibly quick and easy, I just love it.

The other 1/2 of the meat I use with all the remaining leftovers.  I always hope i have leftover stuffing.  For some reason when you use a cast iron skillet this comes out best but you can also use a non stick pan for easy clean up!  I take the leftover meat that I didn't add to the soup, and place in a pan with any leftover stuffing.  My family also uses some other kind of vegetable - besides squash, like green beans (even casserole works), peas, or corn - I usually add that too, and any remaining gravy, heat it all up and plate.  It is so yummy!

I hope you enjoy your holiday leftovers as much as you did the first time!




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