Welcome to the Favorite Freezer Foods Ezine Issue #4: Turkey Time
November 4, 2009
What’s New This Month?
Share Your Recipes and Comments
Freezing Leftover Turkey
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What‘s New This Month?
On the home front: It’s November and while many people are enjoying the fall weather and getting ready for the holidays some of us take on a crazy feat this month. Nanowrimo or National Novel Writing Month where participates pen 1,667 words a day every day to write 50,000 words in a month. Enough to equal a short novel.
This year I am participating but breaking the rules and writing for Favorite Freezer Foods. If I get a chance to breathe and edit it you can expect to see a lot of new content this month but I make no promises, it might not be live until next month.
On www.FavoriteFreezerFoods.com: In case you haven’t heard the FTC passed some new laws pertaining to websites and blogs and disclosing advertising. Technically speaking being that we are Canadian we don’t have to comply, but I’m all for transparency so I wrote my policies for ethical advertising and disclosures.
My web host, SBI, has launched a new tool that (finally) allows me to enable comments and user generated pages. Now you can share your recipes and comments. So if you have questions or comments about a recipe or technique you can ask away. I’d also love to hear your favorite versions of the recipes because variety is the spice of life.
I’ll be getting some dessert recipes added to the site for you this month too. Expect to see sugar and oatmeal raisin cookies and chocolate brownies.
Share Your Recipes and Comments
Do you have a great freeze ahead recipe that your co-workers constantly beg you for? A family favorite you want to publish for your friends? A budget stretcher that feels like a feast? Share it with us
Here’s 3 quick tips on cooking turkey.
1) Thaw early and completely.
2) Do not baste it.
3) Do not stuff it.
Yeah, it might not look helpful but I’m telling you these three tips are gems. Lets start at the beginning.
The best way to thaw your turkey is in the fridge. Plan on one day for every 4 pounds or 2 kilograms of turkey. Your fully thawed turkey will be fine in the fridge for a up to 3 days before roasting.
If your turkey is prestuffed and says to bake from frozen do not thaw it for safety reasons. If you bought it fresh and froze it yourself aim for one day instead of 2 or 3 just to be on the safe side.
As a general rule of thumb you add 50% cooking time to frozen items. Adding that much more time to a turkey practically guarantees the breast meat will be overcooked while the inside is just getting done.
Second don’t baste it. A high grade turkey won’t have cuts or holes in it’s skin. The skin locks in the moisture and locks out the broth your trying to baste it with. Basting doesn’t help the bird brown, leaving it uncovered in the oven does that.
And worse every time you open the oven door to baste you’re letting out the heat and increasing the amount of time it will take for your bird to cook.
Lastly, don’t stuff it. Stuffing your turkey makes it take longer to cook, again increasing the chances of overcooking and drying out the breast meat. If you use my favorite turkey recipe you’ll see that I add water to the pan and some salt, onion powder, garlic powder and parsley. If you are still worried about the flavor add some MSG free chicken bouillon.
You can put the turkey on a foil ring or a rack in the pan to keep it out of the broth if presentation is important to you. Use all that broth to flavor your stuffing and make more gravy than your guest can possibly eat.
And just because I like you here’s a fourth tip. Let your turkey rest for 20-30 minutes before carving, just put the lid on the pan or cover it in tin foil. This keeps the turkey juicy by giving the juices time to redistribute before you carve the bird and gives you time to casually bake the biscuits and make the stuffing and gravy.
Need a quick gravy recipe? Melt a quarter cup of butter in a sauce pan and whisk in a quarter cup of flour. Let it cook just a few seconds to get rid of the flour taste then add two cups of turkey broth and a cup of milk and whisk. Bring it to a boil to fully thicken, add more liquid if it‘s too thick. Salt and pepper to taste. Makes about three cups of gravy.
Multiply this recipe as needed, one cup of gravy will probably serve 3-4 gravy fiends.
Last year I wrote a handy article to help you determine the size and quality turkey you should buy if you need help deciding.
Freezing Leftover Turkey
Being a fan of cooking once and eating many times I always make sure I’ll have leftovers. But what do you do when your sick of turkey and you still have meat left? Freeze it in broth.
That’s right, broth. Cooked meat doesn’t have nearly as much moisture as raw meats and the freezer can zap what little moisture is left right out of it. Freezing in broth keeps the meat moist as it freezes and thaws and prevents freezer burn while it’s in the freezer.
But the freezer can’t make anything better so for best results make sure you cook your turkey properly and avoid over cooking it.
Freeze your turkey carcass too. Add some water and veggies later and make a nice homemade broth.
Come join me on Facebook. You’ll get a sneak peak of what I’m preparing for the site and links to recipes from other bloggers I’ve seen on the web and loved along with tips on how to freeze, thaw and cook them.
If you have any questions, comments, opinions, content ideas, or requests we'd love to hear from you.
Until next time!
Michelle (and Trent) Zack