We're all about turkey at Thanksgiving and other holidays. That's a very limited viewpoint, because turkey is delicious, diverse, healthy and best of all...cheap. Especially around said holidays. If you have a big chest freezer, hook yourself up with a couple. Once the holiday pig-out is over, revisit your freezer and give that big bird another go.
First, of course, I roast the bird. This is a 21 pound turkey I received via Heartland Home Foods delivery, which made it that much easier to get started. My technique is simple: melted butter, salt and herbs, tamped under the skin and rubbed on top. I start it breast side down, then flip halfway through the cooking time. Voila.
First, of course, is a nice hot turkey dinner. I simmered barley in a chicken broth enhanced with some Indian spices, and added diced carrots. Yes, barley. Don't fear it as a side dish...it really is as diverse as rice, and very tasty.
So that's a nice start...but now the intimidating part: leftovers. To start out the process, I'm a huge fan of a nice turkey sandwich. Some sliced turkey breast, a little back, lettuce, tomato and mayo...perfection. To make things easier, you can thinly slice a breast right away and you're good to go. It also earmarks it for a purpose, which may deter the nibblers and pickers.
But you can only eat so many sandwiches, right? So how about turkey curry?
Don't worry, it's easier than you think. Just pick up a jar of curry paste. Shred your meat, add an equal amount of broth, and then flavor with the curry paste to taste. A dash of cumin adds a bit more kick, should you be inclined. The leftover barley side dish made a perfect rice substitute, especially with its own hint of Indian spices.
Now, dark meat has a stronger flavor, which is the reason people either like it or they don't. It also can make it difficult to use in a recipe. So I pondered the flavors that work well with other stronger meat flavors, like lamb. Behold: Mediterranean Turkey Lettuce Wraps.
There are tons of ready-made marinades, or if you prefer, you can use mine. This is courtesy of my mother-in-law.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/6 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tbs minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a food processor, and blend until smooth.
I put the cut-up meat in a bag with the marinade, and let it sit overnight. I poured the contents, marinade and all, into a pan and warmed it up, then plated it on romaine lettuce and added a dash of Parmesan cheese. Light, but tasty and filling.
And of course, it wouldn't be turkey leftovers without the casserole. This is ours, known as Amish Chicken Casserole, also via my mother-in-law, though with turkey, of course. I'm sworn to secrecy, but we all have our favorites...feel free to share yours if you like. I like to mix up the pasta shapes to make it fun.
The rule of thumb is that in most cases, if you can use chicken, you can use turkey. So thaw that bird without fear, and get to creating!
Still nervous? How would you like to win a turkey breast of your very own to experiment with? If you're in the delivery area of Heartland Home Foods (the entire Washington/Baltimore Market and extended suburbs from Northern Virginia through Southern Pennsylvania), you totally can. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT ENTER IF YOU DO NOT LIVE IN THAT SELECT DELIVERY AREA. I CAN ONLY AWARD A PRIZE TO THAT AREA.
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Prize is a 1- 6 pound boneless turkey breast from the distributor, Heartland Home Foods. Winner must live in the designated delivery area of Heartland Home Foods (Washington D.C /Baltimore Market and extended suburbs from Northern Virginia through Southern Pennsylvania) and will be subject to verification. Prize will be fulfilled by Heartland Home Foods to the verified winner. This blogger and any other bloggers who promote this giveaway are not responsible for the fulfillment of the prize.
I received products from Heartland Home Foods for testing purposes. My opinions and love for curry are my own.