Rollover, and over, and over again! Turkey

If you have been reading my posts – you know I like helping to make meal times simpler – now here is another rollover meal.  The great thing about this is that I actually made 3 meals out of this one.  Utility turkeys were on sale the other day so I grabbed one.  Now, utility turkeys are not exactly the best turkey around but it worked for these meals just fine!  I bought one that was 10.5LB – and made 3 meals a lunch and turkey stock out of it.  With side dishes it ended up being $7 per supper (to feed 2 adults 2 little kids) … budget friendly – YES!

Meal 1 – Classic Roasted Turkey

I tried something a little different with the classic roasted turkey this time, our kids don’t like stuffing (dressing) so I just rinsed the cavity and poured the juice of a lemon in, and rubbed with a little salt, then added some broccoli stems , carrots and onion in for flavour.  I added about 3 cups of water to the pan and roasted the turkey breast side down (I’d heard of this but had never tried it) on the premise that the birds juices would keep the breast nice and moist (it did).  I also had a 1/2 LB of bacon so I took some slices and laid them on the top of the bird as it cooked (about 1/2 way thru) not sure it added to the flavour since I was cooking it breast side down – but who doesn’t like the smell of bacon cooking?? Mixed with the smell of the turkey roasting – well suffice to say we were all pretty hungry when it came to supper time!

We served this with mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed broccoli and salad.

Pssssst – to make really yummy gravy – when you remove the neck of the bird previous to cooking – throw it into a small sauce pan with a carrot and onion & spices and let it simmer while the turkey cooks.  When the turkey is resting strain everything out of the stock and add it to the turkey drippings before you thicken with milk, cornstarch or flour.

Turkey Stock

Use your left over veggies from inside the bird and the carcass as well as a bay leaf, thyme and onions to a slow cooker fill with water, place lid on and cook on low overnight.  After it is cooked, I cool it for a few hours in the fridge, strain the fat off the top and freeze. I like to freeze a few small snack bags of stock (they hold about 1 cup) for easy use, as well as a large freezer bag of 4 cups for soups later!

Meal 2  – Creamy Stuffed Shells with Turkey

OK, before you read these ingredients – I morphed this recipe from one I found online.  While I think the “gravy” portion of this is kinda weird and couldn’t get my mind around it – I tried it anyway and it was good!  Next time however I think I would add lemon juice to the gravy and a little lemon rind to the filling.
Another variation I would try is add dill to the filling and lemon to the gravy or substitute out the gravy for a hollandaise or white sauce.

1/2 box (or about 16 jumbo pasta shells) – you can substitute cannelloni shells
4 oz cream cheese (softened) – I used plain but you could change to herb
3/4 c shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 c mashed potato (left over from night before)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp sage
1 1/2 c left over turkey
1 1/2 c left over gravy
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook the shells according to package directions.  Chop up turkey into small chunks (or you can put it through a food processor to grind it up if you don’t want to use your hand to mix it), add mashed potatoes and mix together until well mixed.  Put this mixture into mixer bowl, add spices (lemon rind if using),  cream cheese and 1/4 c of mozzarella. Add salt and pepper if desired.  Mix on medium for a few minutes until smooth.

Put about 1/2 the gravy into the bottom of a (sprayed with cooking spray or EVOO) lasagna type glass or baking pan.  Fill cooked shells with filling. I use a rice paddle or for large quantities use a pastry/icing bag. place seem side up in pan onto top of gravy.  Top with gravy (I found I have to heat the gravy to have it spread correctly) then top with the rest of the mozzarella cheese.  Bake covered with tinfoil for 45 min then uncover and bake for another 10 min or until top is beginning to brown.   Serve with a salad and veggie.  EnJOY

Meal 3 – Hot Turkey Sandwich or Turkey Sandwich

After night 1 – We actually freeze  a dish made up of turkey slices, left over  stuffing (if it was made) and mashed (if there is any) and a side of gravy, so we can easily pull it out to make turkey sandwiches (Hot for Mom and Dad and toasted for the kids) for a no fuss classic comfort food on a busy night!

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