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Make the Most of Your Turkey

Updated on November 17, 2009

Did you know that a turkey can provide you with many meals? You can eat for a week on a turkey. November is turkey month, as in that is the best time of year to buy a turkey. The prices (in the United States) are at their lowest. I recommend buying at least two turkeys so that you can make the most of your turkey.

Cook your turkey however you normally cook your turkey. When the meal is over (if you aren't asleep in the recliner) remove all the meat from the bones. Yes, much of the weight of a turkey is in the bones, but that does not mean it can't feed you. Turkey bones make a wonderfully delicious and nutritious broth that you can use in recipes for months to come. Once you take all the meat off the bones (both the white meat and the dark meat) divide it up into meals sized portions.

For my family, meal sized portions mean, a large chunk for sandwiches, enough for a complete recreation of the Thanksgiving meal a few days later, chopping two-four cups of the white meat for soup and/or pot pie and chopping the dark meat for turkey salad sandwiches. From a 20 pound turkey, for my family of six, we get at least five meals - and that doesn't include the broth.

Many people wonder what to do with turkey, aside from the main meal. You can use turkey meat exactly the same way as you use chicken meat. As for the broth, I boil all the turkey bones in a very large stock pot. I add carrot, potato and onion peels (clean the veggies before peeling so you can use them) to my broth, as well as thyme, basil, oregano, pepper, salt and lots of garlic. I also add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to leech the calcium from the bones. This broth will be the base of our turkey noodle soup that we have after Thanksgiving. I then freeze the rest in 2 cup portions and usually end up with enough broth to use in various recipes for several months.

There you have it; an easy way to make the most of your turkey. This is even better than the saying "cook once, eat twice". You can cook once and eat five times with a little bit of work in the beginning. It doesn't get much better than that does it?


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    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great ideas. Enjoyed your blog.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Many good tips and I am sure they will come handy over the festive period. Thank you

    • profile image

      Beth in OH 7 years ago

      Aya Katz, you aren't going to find these current prices on turkeys next month. Buy now!

      I'm getting small turkeys too (just me & my teen daughter at home), and I'm going to try my hand at spatchcocking so that I've got my turkey cooked in under 45 minutes, instead of hours. Spatchcocking is supposed to leave your turkey more flavorful and moister/juicier than traditional oven cooking. Not to mention the added bonus of frugality in using less gas or electric to power your oven for so many hours!

      Google "spatchcock turkey" to see exactly what I'm talking about. Wow, you could come home from work, and an hour later have a complete turkey meal on the table. Now that's what I'm talking about!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I've not really notice how inexpensive turkey really is until you pointed it out, Jennifer! Thanks for that. I also liked how you recommend that we strip the turkey of its meat after first cooking it as well. As always, you provide great cost-effective and conscious tips!

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

      Jennifer, you have some very helpful ideas here. We have a small family, so I bought a small turkey. Do you think I should buy a second one to keep for Christmas, since the prices are lowest now?

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Great hub. I love making the most of almost anything. Thanks for the great advice.