Using that turkey in the freezer to make a bunch of meals for your family
I don’t know about you but it seems as if we end up with at least one turkey in our freezer a year. Usually it is bought around Thanksgiving time and isn’t used for the Thanksgiving meal; so it’s still in the freezer a few months later. The price for a turkey is so reasonable around Thanksgiving, so it is a good time to buy one, to stash away. This post we are going to talk about four different ways to eat one turkey.
Every once in a while I hit a rut with what to make for supper. So, the last time I came across this problem, I thought, why not get that turkey out and make something with it. After I thought about it for a while, I was pretty excited, you can get a lot of meals out of just one turkey and not only that but a great variety of meals too.
So, I found the big bird just waiting at the bottom of our chest freezer and took it out to thaw in the refrigerator. Then, 3 days later I popped it in a roaster pan with some water, salt, pepper, onion, celery and some poultry seasonings and roasted it in the oven till it was cooked, juicy and falling off the bone. After the deboning was done, this is what I did:
First Turkey Meal
I did a spin-off of the traditional Thanksgiving meal. We had Turkey, Gravy, Buttercup Squash and I made some dressing (my Grandma’s recipe- yum, yum).
Second Turkey Meal
With some of the white meat, I took and made a Teriyaki pulled turkey that my husband’s family makes quite a bit. This is a great option to serve to large crowds or used how we did here. I will have that recipe below for you. We had a meal from it and I froze the rest for future meals. Best served on a bun (if you can, a homemade bun is even better) or tortillas.
Here is the recipe:
Turkey/Chicken Teriyaki Sauce
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped, or ½ tsp garlic powder
1 T + 1 tsp ground ginger
½ cup soy sauce
¼ lemon juice
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
3-4 pounds cooked, shredded turkey or chicken breasts
In a bowl, stir all ingredients using a whisk. Place turkey, or chicken, in a crockpot or large saucepan. Pour sauce over the meat. Heat meat mixture till warm and keep in roaster or crockpot to serve hot. Serve on buns or in flour tortillas. Meat is moist and flavorful.
Third Turkey Meal
The day after the spin-off of Thanksgiving, we had turkey noodle soup. Now, it is best to save the broth off the turkey for the best flavor in your turkey noodle soup. I’ve made soup with store bought broth before and it just isn’t as good. So if you can, save that broth! I made up the soup like normal but before I added the noodles, I divided it, and froze some for later. This way the noodles won’t get all squishy when it is reheated. When you take the soup out, that you froze, just reheat and add the noodles.
By this time a person can be pretty “turkeyed” out so I ended up freezing the rest, which was mostly dark meat, for later use. Below is what I did with it a couple weeks later…
Fourth Turkey Meal
The rest of the meat, which mostly consisted of dark meat, I made into a triple batch of Turkey Pot Pie. I used one batch to have for supper and took the second and third batches of the turkey/sauce/vegetable mixture and froze, for future meals.
I don’t make what you would consider a traditional Turkey Pot Pie. It is more like turkey pot pie filling with a dumpling/biscuit top; easier and just as tasty in our opinion.
Now, of course, it will depend on the size of family you have but for my husband and I (our little girl isn’t quite eating table food yet) we got roughly 14 meals from this 15ish pound turkey.
Do you have a turkey hanging out in your freezer? Instead of letting it sit there till next Thanksgiving I challenge you to take it out and see how creative you can be with one turkey!
Let me know how it went in the comments below! Oh, and you can start by making some tasty Shredded Teriyaki Turkey!
If you think that doubling and freezing is something you’d benefit from in your house check out my post on Meal Prep for other ideas to help make meals easier for you.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Colossians 3:23