Turkey, a Frugal OAMC Cook’s Delight

Turkey, a Frugal OAMC Cook’s Delight

Three times each year there are fantastic bargains to be had on whole frozen turkeys. These are mostly around the major food holidays of Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The low loss-leader price of turkey is often around 49 cents per pound. This translates to a whopping six bucks for a 12-pound bird. I always get a couple extra for the freezer. Last summer, an electrical malfunction caused me to do an unexpected OAMC-type cooking marathon to save the defrosting food in my chest freezer. Let me say that before this I had never actually done the OAMC (Once a month cooking) method, although I had read about it on the web.

A 12-14 pound turkey fits just about right in my big pressure canner. I season it with a few herbs like marjoram and thyme, a sprinkling of black pepper and salt. A bay leaf. Maybe a half of an onion and a couple carrots for the stock. If I’m ambitious enough, I split the turkey by cutting out the back with my poultry shears and splitting the breast. Either split or not, I place the turkey on the rack, and add about 6 cups of water. Close up the pressure cooker and bring it up to 15 pounds pressure for 45 minutes. Turn off the cooker and let it cool until it can be opened.

I remove the turkey to a 12×18 roasting pan to cool enough for handling. I strain the broth and put it in a bowl or pan in the fridge until the next day when I can remove the fat that has congealed on the top. You know you’ve got some great stock there if it sets up from the gelatin. Then I freeze the stock in pint or quart freezer containers.

After the turkey has cooled enough to handle I pull the meat off the bones and place into one of two bowls: one for white meat, one for dark meat. I put them in zip-type freezer bags (I get the cheapo ones at Aldis) or use my Food Saver for my freezer making sure to mark the contents and the date. I usually separate the white and dark meats into two for a total of four bags of cooked boned turkey.

I use the turkey to make such things as turkey pot pie, turkey tetrazzini, turkey ala king or turkey noodle casserole. Even turkey tacos by using the turkey in place of the ground beef. Just about any recipe you find that calls for cooked chicken can be made with this turkey. On a $6.00 turkey, you get meat enough for four meals, plus some get stock. That’s $1.50 per meal. Now that’s frugal!!

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