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Friday, December 4, 2009

Recycling the Turkey Carcass

Now everyone, or most everyone I know, delights in turkey leftovers. My personal favorite is turkey with cranberry sauce on bread. But whatever floats your boat. What do you do with the not meat parts?

This year, I did not cook a turkey, but my parents did. Before it was even cut, I asked my dad for the carcass. Now, my dad thought I was crazy, but cheerfully ziplocked it up for me once the bird met its untimely end.

Word to the wise.. this is easier if you disassemble it. I, however, was stuffed and lazy on turkey, and did not. I took my larger crock pot and force-fed it the turkey carcass. Literally. I shoved the thing in there until it fit. I added enough water to cover it, threw in some garlic and chopped onion, both of which were already in the fridge, and turned it on low. A few hours later, I went back and added more water and went to bed. The next morning, I strained the broth and refrigerated it to cool off. Putting it in tupperware containers and labelling, I stuck it in the freezer. If you are freezing liquid, leave a 1/4 inch or so at the top of your container empty. Liquid expands with frozen and this will save you from a slushy mess.

Next, I dumped more water on the turkey carcass and did it all over again. I got, in all, about 30 cups of broth, absolutely free, minus the cost of water and electricity. And finally, I threw the leftover bones into the compost pile, where they will not take nearly as long to break down as they might've, since I have cooked them until they are like rubber.

And all that broth? I can add it to many things. Or heat it and drink it straight if I get sick.

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