What To Do With a Whole Turkey

I had a turkey in the freezer that we did not use for Thanksgiving. I admit to being slightly turkey challenged. I’ve roasted a few of them over the years but that is about the extent of my turkey experience. I’m great at using the bird post roasting but had no idea of other ways to cook a giant turkey.

Recently Moira shared a tutorial on Stuffed Turkey Breast. Seeing that tutorial really inspired me to do something special with my turkey.

I had never cut up a turkey but figured it would be like doing a big chicken (really big chicken) but just for a little extra help I found this article that has pictures and everything.

Cutting the wings off was easy. Turkey wings are very good sized. I cut mine into three pieces per the instructions.

Legs came next. Also pretty easy. I cut the leg into two pieces- thigh and drumstick.

Then came the breasts. I missed some of the meat on the first one but think I did good on the second one.

So here is what I did with all this cut up turkey.

Stuffed Turkey Breast x 2. I did both breasts following the instructions Moira posted. I used a slight variation to the suggested stuffing because apparently I can not buy Quinoa in my town. Orzo pasta was my chosen substitute and it worked out great. This was an amazing tasting recipe and looked very pretty. It did cook much faster in my oven than the recommended time so next time I’ll make sure to keep a closer eye on it.

All of the drumsticks, thighs, and two pieces of wings (minus the wing tips) became Hungarian Turkey Legs (recipe here) made in the crock pot. This is something I’ve made for years using chicken and it is just as delicious with turkey.

I cut off the meat that I missed from the carcass. I put the carcass, the neck, wing tips and that extra meat in the crock pot with a bit of water and cooked on high for a few hours. Then removed the now cooked meat and picked the rest of the meat off of the carcass. This meat was stashed in the freezer for future casseroles and soups. The carcass was returned to the crock pot with onions and additional water to become nutrient rich bone broth.

I am very please with how well it worked out to cut up the turkey and use it. I look forward to raising our own turkeys in the future and cutting them up before freezing. I think that will be a good use of freezer space and allow me to cram more in. Of course, I’ll have to keep one or two whole for roasting.

Millie

2 comments to What To Do With a Whole Turkey

  • forgottenskills

    >thanks for this post!

    I just bought a whole turkey "leftover" from the holidays at my local farm, and have no idea what to do with it besides roasting!

  • Millie

    >You're welcome.
    I should have mentioned that it works better with the big breasted birds. The turkey we raised this year didn't have much breast meat for doing the stuffed turkey breast.

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