Saturday, November 27, 2010

Making the Most of...Roast Turkey

Although I won't be roasting a turkey until Christmas Day, I know many of you in the U.S. have a leftover turkey stashed in your fridge right now! A whole turkey is one of the best values as far as animal proteins go, provided you make use of every bit of it.

Here's what I do with my leftover roast turkey:

1. Carve as much meat off the bones as possible and cube it into small bite-size chunks. I pack this in 2-cup portions into Ziploc bags and freeze.

2. Freeze any leftover gravy in meal-sized portions (about 3/4 to 1 cup or so) to keep on hand for serving with pot pies.

3. Make stock: 

After I've taken as much meat as I can off the carcass, I put it in my stock pot and cover with water, breaking up the carcass a bit so I can get the whole thing in there (if you still have the turkey neck and giblets, they can go in there, too). I then cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Once it starts to boil, I skim off any foamy stuff that comes to the surface, then reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 2-3 hours, adding water as needed to keep the pot at least 2/3 full.

I then cool the stock and strain it to remove any solid bits. I pour this into sour cream or yogurt containers to freeze (make sure you don't fill the containers right to the top as the liquid will expand when it freezes). You can also freeze stock in ice cube trays, then pop out the cubes and pack into Ziploc bags for when you just need a small amount of stock.

Now, what to do with all that turkey and stock? The stock can be used in any recipe that calls for chicken stock. A few of my favourite ways to use leftover turkey:

What are your favourite ways to use leftover turkey?

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