Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why I Roasted A Turkey In August

Last week, I cooked a turkey.  In August.  For no special occasion.

I often do this around Thanksgiving time so that I can have leftovers, which I feel is the best part of the meal.  But as I eat with family, I don't usually walk away with many.  So I will either cook a breast or a whole bird some time later to enjoy.

But last year, I bought an extra bird that has been taking up space in my freezer all this time.  It was time to cook her up and make space in the freezer for other things.

After I eat a few meals out of the turkey (I shared...I did not sit down and eat a turkey by myself...I promise.), I was over it.  So I picked the bird clean (my least favorite task) and divided the meat into zip top bags to freezer for later use.  I label all of the bags and then lay them flat to freeze.  It makes for great quick meals over the next many months.

Then the next day, I made stock.  But first, I roasted the bones.

I'd never done that before.  Have you?  I read about it in a magazine some time ago.  It's said to make the stock richer in flavor.  So I just popped the pan-o-turkey-bones into the oven for 45 minutes and let them go to town.  Then I added them to water with veggies, as I explained here, and let that simmer on low for as many hours as you have available.

When done and cooled a bit, I strained the stock into containers that will be frozen once I move things around in the freezer to make space this weekend {I lead quite the exciting life...I know}.

Just look at that color though!  So rich and deep.  The flavor is outstanding.  Actually, the night I made it, I didn't feel particularly fabulous.  So I drank a mug full of stock.  Is that weird?  It was so comforting and lovely.  Like nothing you can find in a can at the supermarket.

Oh and you always find more meat on the bones, too.  I had another little baggie ready for the freezer, destined for a big pot of soup this fall.

Do you ever roast a turkey just because?  And do you make your own stock?  If yes, do you use the bag of icky stuff that comes out of the turkey neck?  I don't.  I know I should.  I know Martha does and good cooks everywhere.  But I just can't stomach that situation.


Flo said...

I have cooked a turkey "out of season" many times, usually just because I'm hungry for it. And I have the same issue with leftovers at the holidays when others come help! I've never made turkey stock though, the oven roasting tip is something I will have to remember.

jess said...

I am a vegetarian, so no. BUT, I love me some Thanksgiving Day sides - and eat those year round. Yum yum stuffing!


Dawn said...

Roasting the bones sounds like something I have to try. I only eat roasted turkey on Thanksgiving, although, since it is so readily available all year round here in Publix, I should ask the butcher grind it up and then I could make burgers or shepherds pie out of it. Much healthier than red meat I would assume.

AEOT said...

I cook at least 2 turkeys a year outside of Tgiving. I love them, my family loves them, and I love the stock. We make stock every time we have turkey- my mom and most of my aunts do too. It's so easy and so easy to freeze, I don't know why you wouldn't! I do tend to save my homemade stock for soups. I would never use it for rice though maybe risotto. Too good just for easy peasy weeknight things, to me it has to be used for something special!!


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