Tag Archives: turkey

The never-ending turkey

b6a5fb57-fd2a-4b5c-9561-7b29ec234ec3As most turkey fans (and chest-freezer owners) know, the best time to buy a turkey is a few weeks after Thanksgiving. I normally smoke a turkey on the holiday itself, but this year I did a breast roulade that resulted in no leftovers, s0 when turkey-clearance time came around ($1.19/lb.), I went big. Very big. Like, 22 pounds big. It was by far the largest bird I’ve ever worked with (trying to spatchcock a turkey that weighs more than a medium-sized dog is not up there on the list of tasks I enjoy), and while at the time I swore I’d never do it again, nearly a month later we’re STILL eating turkey sandwiches, turkey enchiladas, and turkey soup, and my deep freeze is packed with gallons of smoked-turkey stock. It’s hard to argue with weeks upon weeks of meals for $26.50, so yes, I will probably do it again. Read on to see how it went. (And, above, enjoy a photo of a particularly bountiful day at the Fred Meyer meat-clearance section.)

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Turkey melt with cranberry relish & fontina: 83 cents/serving

And with this, the Thanksgiving leftovers are done.

Mostly because I can’t stand to eat one more bite of turkey, but no one can say it didn’t go out in style. This was one of the best sandwiches (provided you consider a melt a sandwich) I’ve had in a very long time, and the only item I had to purchase was the fontina, which was on sale for $5.89 a pound at Grocery Outlet.

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Thai turkey salad with cilantro & mint: 33 cents/serving

And now for something completely different…yet not really. This is essentially a cooked-turkey version of the larb I made a couple weeks ago with chicken. I had even intended for it to be a lettuce wrap before realizing we were out of lettuce.

It doesn’t exactly showcase the turkey, as the Thai flavors are what come to the forefront, but we’ve been showcasing the turkey for four days now, so it’s a well-earned break.

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Turkey soup with mashed-potato dumplings: 9 cents/serving

Not counting gravy, we had six side dishes this year at Thanksgiving, plus one appetizer. Mercifully, mashed potatoes and cranberry relish were the only sides that weren’t either eaten in their entirety (the latter because I…um…forgot to put it out completely) or taken home by family members.

Of course, mashed potatoes just happen to be the most inconvenient leftover possible. They’re gluey, they’re heavy, they can’t be eaten right out of the container while standing in front of the fridge…yet they have to be used somehow.

I considered biscuits, I considered shepherd’s pie, and I considered some kind of soufflé, but ultimately this idea won out because it consists entirely of leftovers, save for some salt, parsley from the garden, and less than a cup of flour.

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Leftover-turkey chilaquiles: 89 cents/serving

Given that this year I made two turkeys—one smoked, one roasted—for eight people, it goes without saying we have some leftover meat. It also goes without saying that, after giving it away to anyone who wants it, I try to use every scrap of that leftover meat, especially when it comes out of the Thanksgiving budget, not the weekly budget.

This was Round 1 for the smoked turkey, inspired by half a bag of leftover Juanita’s tortilla chips. (Anyone who lives in the Pacific Northwest knows you DO NOT let a bag of Juanita’s go to waste.) You could also use crisp-fried tortillas in place of the chips, if you want to be all authentic and stuff.

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The principles of turkey brining

I know, I know; a little late given that today is Thanksgiving. But this information might be useful for next year, and with all those turkeys likely to go on sale in the next couple of days, why not pick one up to cook in a few months?

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