One turkey, one week's worth of meals

Whole turkeys were on sale before the Easter weekend, and with humane-certified birds available at Safeway for CA$1.47/lb, we hauled back two 5kg turkeys to store in the freezer while I pondered what to do with them. I'm no fan of high-density CAFOs with their negative impacts on the environment and animal well-being, so if we do eat meat, we buy it from the farmers' market or those labeled as humane-certified. It does mean that meat is the most expensive protein in our grocery list, thus it is an occasional treat or supplement to our regular meals. In this case, I was pretty happy with the bargain price of $16 for a 5kg turkey.

Cheap, but would it be edible? Turkey breast meat has a bad reputation after all. DH says that he sometimes needs to dip turkey breast slices in water in order to be able to chew and swallow them. I had good results with a roast spatchcocked chicken, so time to move on to a bigger bird! Steps with photos courtesy of Serious Eats. I used regular kitchen shears and removing the backbone was doable (with some occasional oomph), but I can see the need for heavy duty cutters for anything bigger. Instead of making stock for gravy as in the recipe, I threw the backbone and giblets into a freezer container for making stock with the rest of the bones later (see below).

I will always spatchcock a turkey for roasting from now on...

Here's what we did with the roast turkey:
  • Dark meat with roasted asparagus (cooked in turkey drippings), mashed potatoes and gravy (made with, if you believe it, water from canned olives and canned smoke salmon, and fish sauce- it was delish!) (4 servings)
  • Made two batches of stock in the slow cooker with bones, innards, bay leaves, and carrots and onions that got burnt from being roasted under the turkey (waste nothing)
  • Sliced turkey breast (moist!) in soba soup made with turkey stock (4 servings)
  • Potato salad with cubed turkey breast, sliced black olives and green onions (4 servings)
The rest of the stock went into:
  • Cooking one cup of quinoa for a warm quinoa salad (4 servings)
  • More soba soup, with soft-boiled eggs (4 servings)
  • The soup base for Chinese hot pot (3 servings), and leftovers for breakfast soup with shirataki noodles (1 serving)
Soba soup with turkey breast and soft-boiled egg. Photo K. Riddick

After adding everything up, one turkey contributed to 24 meals in our household. Not bad for a $16 investment.


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