Thursday, June 10, 2010

Let's Talk Turkey

Normally we think of turkey as a food that is reserved for Thanksgiving or maybe Christmas when we have a lot of people around to help us eat it. Our household only has two adults so you would think that roasting a turkey for just us would be rather crazy. However, last week I found a whole turkey breast on sale for $0.99/lb and bought it because I know how much my husband likes roast turkey. I rubbed it with butter and sprinkled on sea salt and freshly ground pepper and roasted it up in the oven until the thermometer reached 170F. I also threw in some sweet potatoes from our CSA for the last hour or so and a loaf of sour dough bread to warm up for the last 10 minutes or so. While the turkey was resting I made up some gravy and we had what many would consider a "fancy" dinner with very little time and effort on my part. I love these sorts of meals because they make me feel like I have done a wonderful thing for my family without having to spend all day at it.

The meal was tasty, but we had a bunch of meat left afterwards. The next day for lunch I'd planned on doing turkey sandwiches, but DH didn't want to wait long enough to cut the bread and just ate the turkey straight. After this we still had turkey left, though at this point it was getting hard to slice.

For dinner that night I picked as much as I could off the bones and threw it in a casserole dish with diced new potatoes and a couple of carrots, both from our CSA share. I added the remaining gravy (thinned with some wine because we didn't have much left) from the night before, put the lid on and baked it in the oven until it was hot and bubbly. I was originally planning on putting some drop biscuits on top and calling it "turkey pot pie", but there wasn't enough room left in the dish so I'm calling it "turkey pot stew". This was quite tasty and there was enough left over for lunch the next day. I then threw the bones into the crock pot with more carrot, some celery, onion and a few herbs. I poured water in almost to the top, turned it on low and wet to bed. By the next morning I had 14 cups of stock that was happy to bubble away until I had time to deal with it. At that point we threw out the bones and said goodbye to the turkey.

The turkey breast cost me $6.47. All the vegetables (except the celery in the stock) were from our CSA share which is large enough that we really have to work to use them. This turkey fed us from Sunday night through lunch on Tuesday and left us with enough stock in the freezer that we won't have to buy any for quite a while. Normally I wouldn't have bought a single cut of meat that large for two adults and a baby because I would worry about it going to waste. However, we finished it off before we got tired of it and had several cheap, healthy, enjoyable meals. From now on turkey will be on my list of meats to buy when it gets cheap enough. Maybe next time I'll even consider buying a whole turkey...

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