Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Stretching The "Big Meat" -Turkey Breast

This is a new series that I am really pumped about. Cooking a big meat is super frugal! If it can be so cheap...why don't we do it more often? It does take more planning, it can be a little intimidating (for me, at least), and sometimes it is more up front cost... but it is way worth it! I plan to go through every big meat I can find and show you what to do with it. First up is turkey...and it is on sale this week!

I guess I should share a brief history of my quirky relationship with meat. When I started this blog I was very scared of the "big meat". I am just not a raw meat toucher of any is just nasty! I love meatloaf, but I vividly remember my first encounter with the making of a meatloaf. I was told you just roll up your sleeves and dig in...I was mortified. I could never do that! So, for seven years now I have been mixing meatloaf with a giant spoon.

My first whole chicken!!!! My mom was sick one time and really wanted me to make some chicken noodle soup. Frightened doesn't even begin to explain the feeling I had. I circled Kroger for about an hour just to work up enough nerve to pick it up. (yes, it was wrapped and everything). I finally got the nerve...and brought the thing home. I opened it up and gloved up (yes, I *borrowed* a box of gloves from work just for meat handling) and lifted it in the pot with a heavy spatula and tongs. I couldn't touch it or stand the feel of it, even with the gloves on.

For years I have stayed away from the "big meat", but felt it was time to conquer my fear in 2010. I bought a turkey breast, ham, and a WHOLE chicken-and they were just lurking in the freezer waiting for me. I thawed out the turkey breast first...but I needed my mom for some moral support. So, she watched as I cut the package open and washed him off. I didn't even use gloves this time! I just did it...and it was so liberating! I even put my hand down under the skin to put some herbs and butter.

That was such a great feeling. I may or may not have been screaming, "I did it, come look Daniel, I have my hand in a turkey!!!!!" I figured out it is no big deal, not at all. All this time I was being so silly. I feel as if I can conquer the culinary world now...bring it on...I am ready now. Funny how something so silly can make someone feel so good! I share this to let you all know that I have a LOT to learn in the kitchen. I am a work in progress...but I enjoy the process!

Here is how I used my turkey!

Dinner 1.) Roast Turkey

Dinner 2.) Turkey Tetrazzini

Dinner 3.) Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

I didn't end up eating the turkey after roasting. I just went ahead and cut it up for future dinners. I ended up with 2 big dishes of turkey tetrazzini's, 1 turkey and biscuit dinner, and a huge crock pot full of soup (it made 1 dinner and lunch all week). I didn't make all these turkey recipes in one week. After I roasted the turkey I cut up the meat and froze it for future use. So, don't think if you make a big meat you have to eat on it all week!

I paid $7 for the can't beat $7 for all those meals! Do you have any great turkey recipes that could be used? If so, please share them with me!

Photo Credit:


Misty said...

YEAH Katie! You go! I am proud of you for conquering "the big meat". I can remember growing up every Thanksgiving my Nanny would let me help prepare "Tom" and I thought it was SO neat putting butter under the skin... :)

I will admit, that I too, use a wooden spoon to mix my meatloaf... haha.

I cooked my first "big meat" last night in a BONE-IN ham (thanks Katie) and it was DELICIOUS!!! The kids couldn't eat enough... You know you have something good in the Oldfield house, when you have left over bread. And I have freezer bags for ham meals 2.3. and hopefully 4.

Definitely NO more buying heat and serve expensive hams at Easter! WOO HOO!

On to the turkey next... rolling up my sleeves.

Anonymous said...

That turkey breast and vegs is the prettiest presentation I've ever seen!

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