Let There Be Turkey!

I’m trying to get room in our freezers cleared out.  In doing so, I have come across some things that have been in there for longer than I care to hypothesize.  I have also come across some good “finds.”  Like the $5 turkey I bought last thanksgiving with the intention of feeding it to the dogs, but then realized how much the dogs glare at me when I make them eat turkey.

malamutes eating turkey breasts

So the only reasonable option was to come up with a way to eat it.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you this, but Craig is exceptionally picky.  He gets away with it because he is a super smeller, and as a result has the best palate I’ve ever come across.  He can taste vague off-flavors in things that I cannot detect.  He can usually pick out in individual ingredients in sauces and whatnot, and then at the very least point me in the right direction in terms of what it’s missing. So he has an amazing palate and is picky.  It’s a tough one keeping him fed, but I always enjoy a challenge.  One of the things he’s not a fan of is: leftover meat.  Another thing: turkey.  And turkeys are pretty huge, so if I were to cook a turkey, there would definitely be leftovers.  Plus, most roast turkey leftovers recipes involve bread, flour, or mashed potatoes… all things we’re trying to cut out or limit from our diets.  So I did what any sane cheap person would do… defrosted that bad boy, removed the skin, cut most of the meat off the bones, and got to grinding it up with my handy-dandy meat grinder attachment.  It was messy.  And disgusting.  I got turkey juice all over the counter (thank god for my food-industry sanitizer).  I have 3x gallon ziploc baggies in the freezer with hacked up pieces of the carcass in them waiting to go to work with me tomorrow for my coworker to make stock (Craig also isn’t a fan of turkey stock).  But get this – after all was said and done, I probably committed 1.5-2 hours to this endeavor, in terms of getting everything out, breaking down the turkey, removing the skin, cutting up the meat into manageable pieces, grinding it, mixing the light and dark meat, weighing & packing it into foodsaver baggies, washing all of the stuff, and sanitizing the counter.  And you know how much ground turkey I got out of that?  6.5lbs.  That’s it.  At least I have that hulking monster out of my freezer.  Now to throw out the crab shells that I saved last summer with the intention of making crab stock.

What’s the plan for the turkey?  I separated it out into 3x 1.5lb bags, and 1x 2lb bag.  The upcoming menu includes:
Chipotle dijon turkey meatballs with roast carrots and cauliflower
Curry turkey burgers (on lettuce) with guacamole and avocado-oil mayonnaise
Kale, sun dried tomato, artichoke, and turkey sliders with feta & sauteed broccoli
Buffalo turkey meatballs (or sliders maybe?) with a franks red-hot sauce and homemade bleu cheese dressing, plus roasted broccoli

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