A 26 Pound Turkey & 12 Pounds of Turkey Meat

by Lynne on December 13, 2012

Post image for A 26 Pound Turkey & 12 Pounds of Turkey Meat

Turkey Rice Soup 1

This year for Thanksgiving 2012, in anticipation of the small number of guests I was expecting, I bought a 12 pound turkey on the Monday before. I put it in the fridge to thaw so it would be ready to roast on Thursday. I stuck it in the back so it was out of the way.

On Wednesday, my husband asked, “Is that a turkey in the back of the fridge?”

“Yes,” I answered, “I’m roasting it tomorrow.”

“Um,” he said sheepishly, “I forgot to tell you that my company gave us each a 26 pound turkey for Thanksgiving.”

“You’re kidding me, right?” I said in disbelief, starting to freak out, as thoughts of our crammed fridge and totally full freezer ran through my mind. Shutting my eyes really tight, then looking at him through little teeny slits, I asked, “And where is this turkey now?”

Beginning to realize that there was some deep doodoo he might have to be concerned about, he tried to save himself. “Oh, it’s in the walk-in freezer at work. Don’t worry, it’s fine,” he assured me.

“So what’s your plan?” I asked casually, knowing I was really the one who would have to deal with it. But for his egregious forgetfulness, I though he could squirm a little.

“Ah, ah….,“ he sputtered, as I was panicking, thinking about 38 pounds of turkey.

Well, as it turns out, his company also has a walk-in refrigerator (they sell chemicals to the aerospace industry). So our plan was that the next Thursday, he would put it in the fridge to thaw, and bring it back from work Sunday morning, when I would roast it. Meanwhile, I had a week to try to figure out what in the hell I was going to do with all that meat.

In the photo above you can see the 9×13 pan holding the cooked turkey meat. I weighed myself on a scale, then, holding the pan, reweighed. Yep, 12 pounds.

Turkey Rice Soup 2

Here you can see the gallon of turkey broth that came from the roasting pan, and about a gallon of carcass bones to make stock. A mind boggling amount.

Turkey Rice Soup 3

Since I knew I was going to have lots of broth, I was really looking forward to that plain old comfort food, Turkey and Rice Soup. I had cooked and frozen some rice a couple of days beforehand in anticipation. After the turkey was finished, I immediately put some broth in a bowl, pulled some meat off the turkey, dumped in the reheated rice and sat down to simple soup heaven.

The next day, after sitting in the fridge, the fat was hard on top of the broth, so I scraped it off. The broth went in a stockpot with some onions, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme and bay leaf and a couple of hours later I had some beautiful turkey stock. So I made myself another bowl of Turkey and Rice Soup. I guess I got a little silly with the star-shaped aspic cutter for this photo. Forgive me, ok? When I actually ate this, I put it in a much bigger bowl with more turkey, more stock, and the mirepoix  vegetables from the stock pot. So good.

So, this 12 pounds of turkey. One breast half and a lot of dark meat went in the freezer. One fourth of the meat went to a friend at my work. The other one fourth went in my fridge, where I immediately began to use it in as many turkey dishes as I could make until it ran out. It certainly has been an adventure. I will be posting about all these dishes, so I hope you’re not turkey-ed out yet. Lol.

Turkey Rice Soup 4

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lentil Breakdown December 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Am glad no deep doodoo got in the soup. Must be why it looks so tasty and hygienic!

NUY40+ November 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Holy Gobble Gobble!

That is a lot of Turkey Meat to have on hand (!) but here are a few ideas that might help it go faster ( when something happened similar to me, I started by freezing in portions in chopped, sliced, and string-sliver form). Some standby leftover dishes I’ve come up with through the years:

*Indian Style Turkey Curry
*Thai Style Yellow Turkey Curry (great tasting in coconut milk!)
* Thai Tom Ka Gai or Tom Yum Goong Soup with Turkey Breast
*Turkey & White Wine Mushroom Sauce over Rice
*Turkey Pot Pie
*Turkey Chili
*Turkey Lasagne with White Sauce & Holladaise/Mozerrella Topping
*White Wine Garlic Sauce Cannelloni Stuffed with Food Processed Turkey & Onion& Basil *Shredded Carrot & Ricotta (optional: sundried tomatoes for color in the sauce)
*Turkey Enchiladas
* Jambalaya/Gumbo substituting Turkey for Chicken
*Turkey Empanadas (great for a potluck or casual party at someone else’s house besides your own, haha)

Love your blog, and can’t wait to see what new Turkey dishes come of the deep doo-doo Turkeygate of 2013 (smile)! —In all sincerity, I wish a blog like yours was around when I was growing up and my lovely mom (bless her heart) would serve us turkey & gravy for days on end after the Thanksgiving holiday (for lack of access to fresh ideas and creative recipes), lol. Happy Thanksgiving, Lynn- your recipes are awesome.

Lynne November 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Hi NUY40+, Thank you so much for the great turkey leftover ideas. I was thinking about Pot Pie myself. Something homey. I’m making my cornbread, too, so maybe some creamed turkey over a slab of cornbread. I like the white wine idea. Happy Holidays. Lynne xo

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