Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Week of Turkey

Last week, I shared our plan to eat off of a Boston butt cut of pork all week. It turned out so great and was so inexpensive. I had our whole month of meals planned for October, but I had to make a few changes after finding some great deals at the grocery store. This week I found a great deal on turkeys. A whole turkey was 1.09 per pound. Even though turkey may be a little more per pound than a chicken, I feel like there is more edible meat per pound on a turkey. So, as I type, there is a turkey cooking away in our oven. A whole bird of any kind is often intimidating to some people. Don't be afraid! It's super easy and saves you money and keeps you away from other more processed meats.

Crock-Pot Method: A turkey won't fit in a crock pot, but a chicken will. This is the super easy method. Just unwrap the chicken from the packaging, wash it off, take the giblets out of the chicken, and place in the crock pot. Sprinkle heavily on both sides with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook for 2 hours on high, flip the chicken, and cook for 2 more hours. 

Oven Method: This is the typical way to cook a turkey or chicken. Use a roasting rack (where the bird is not sitting in its juice). Unwrap the chicken or turkey from its packaging, wash it off, removes the giblets, and place on roasting rack. Sometimes a turkey, especially around Thanksgiving, will come "trussed". Trussing a turkey (or chicken) just means tying the legs together so that they are close to the body of the bird. It makes sure the dark meat cooks at the same rate. So if your turkey or chicken isn't already trussed, do that before baking. Sprinkle heavily with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cover in aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes per pound on 350 degrees. I always  find that on top of the 20 minutes per pound that I need to add about 20 more minutes. I usually take the foil off during those 20 minutes so that the skin gets crispy.

With either method, you definitely need to allow the bird to "rest" for about 20-30 minutes. This allows it to cool a little and ensures that it is moist when you start cutting into it. If you skip this step, when you cut into it, a lot of the juices will just run out. Also, you can customize your seasonings and even stuff some lemons or onions inside the chicken or turkey. If I'm cooking for the whole week, I just keep the seasonings simple so that the flavors will go with every meal. 

Since its Wednesday, and I'm just getting started for our meals, we'll be eating turkey into the weekend! I made chili on Monday night and we've been eating off of that so far this week (YUM- perfect fall treat!). My hubby has been having a very stressful week at work so I want to make him something special for tonight. He loves Thanksgiving type meals, so I'm making turkey and gravy, healthy sweet potato casserole (sans all the butter and sugar), and some roasted vegetables. 

A Week of Turkey:
Wednesday: Turkey, sweet potatoes, and roasted green beans
Thursday: We'll enjoy leftovers from Wednesday
Friday: Soup and Salad with Turkey Noodle Soup
Saturday: Turkey Enchilada Casserole
Sunday: Turkey, Black Bean, and Spinach Quesadillas

So, even though I had to rework our monthly meal calendar. The great deal that I found on turkey helped us plan for some extremely yummy suppers this week and saved us some money! 

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