Let’s Talk Turkey, Pt 5: Using Planned-Overs
By DonR Nov 28. 20113
Cooking once and using planned-overs for several meals is a great way to save time and energy. In fact, because turkeys are on sale this time of year, it pays to grab an extra to freeze. Whole turkeys can help your food budget substantially.
Turkey can be used in lots of ways if you plan ahead. So, now that the turkey is cooked and the planned-overs are sitting safely in the oven at 135+ degrees, what comes next? Cool it quickly, shred it and use it for entrees, soups, salads and sides.
The first step is important. The meat needs to be removed from the bone but what do you do with it to keep it safe?
- Partially fill the sink with cold water and add ice.
- Then slice the breast and thigh meat and place it in a large shallow pan sitting in the ice water to cool. The rest of the meat can be pulled from the bone and placed on the same sheet.
- When cooled, package the meat in zip lock bags as needed for future recipes.
- Place a straw into the bag, suck the air out and seal it tight for freezing.
Q. How much should you put in each bag? A. Just enough to use in your planned entree or side dish.
Q. What are some ways for using pulled or sliced turkey? A. Lots of suggestions are found in our soon-to-be-published book “$10 Meals for a Family of Six.”
- Hot sliced turkey Sandwiches smothered in gravy
- Hot & pulled for turkey ala king
- Hot with a white sauce over biscuits
- Pulled in pasta, rice, or bean casseroles
- Chopped in stir fried veggies
- Chopped for sloppy Joes
- Pulled for enchiladas, burritos and tacos
- Chopped for cabbage rolls and Asian egg rolls
- Soups…too many to list.
- I almost left out the best part….boil the carcass in water, celery, and a touch of vinegar to make soup stock. More on that later.
As you can see, there is no end to the number of ways that turkey can be used if you plan ahead. Why not cook them several times a year?