I have had a frozen turkey in my freezer for, well, too long. At first I had every intention of donating it, but months went by and I never seemed to find the time to drop it off. I could desperately use the freezer space, so it is time to put up or shut up. Yesterday morning I woke up early, set with determination, and roasted it to eat ourselves.
Now, my husband is so busy at the office that he is working through weekends and dinners for the foreseeable future, and the kids don't usually eat poultry unless it is in nugget form. This leaves 20 pounds of bird just for me.
That's a lot of bird.
And so begins my week of turkey dinners for one.
Hopefully, with a few varied recipes, I can mix it up enough to keep things interesting.
It turns out I'm not actually in this alone. I remembered one thing that the kids will actually eat: soup. By the spoonful, by the bowlful, by the quart, they adore chicken noodle soup. Turkey is close enough. I can make this work.
After the turkey was finished roasting yesterday, and fragrancing my house with the luscious smells of a happy Thanksgiving, I cut the breast meat and drumsticks off to save for later meals, and threw the carcass into the slow cooker pot. I had to run out -- according to the kids, it was mandatory that we spend the gorgeous fall afternoon on a hayride leaving promptly at 1:15pm -- so I placed the meat-stuffed crock pot into the fridge.
This morning, I covered the meaty bones with water, added one chopped onion, two peeled and chopped carrots, two chopped celery stalks, and one bay leaf. I set the slow cooker to high and will leave it until the the vegetables are tender, the meat falls right off the ribs and thighs, and the bones release their flavor making an authentic and savory broth.
There is sure to be some skimming of fat involved in today's process, and I will have to fish out all the bones, and maybe dice or shred some of the bigger pieces of meat, but basically this turkey meal is making itself. Later I will cook the noodles and store them separately, since they get mushy if added too soon and heat up easily when added to hot soup right before serving.
On the menu for the rest of the week:
And a few other things up my sleeve. Stay tuned for tomorrow's recipe!