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Use Turkey for Freezer Meals

I make our own TV dinners so I can control the salt content and avoid other additives. Several times a year, I cook a turkey with all the trimmings. We have dinner for that day and the next and maybe a turkey sandwich.

While the turkey is warm, I slice and debone the entire thing just like I was going to serve it that day, making sure to get every piece of edible meat. Dad gave me some of his Corell plates several years ago. I make up dinner for two on each plate, cover with freezer wrap and freeze.

Whenever we are running late, we can take out a plate, heat it and dinner is ready. I store the leftover cranberry sauce in the freezer also to go with these meals. If there are more in your family, you could freeze in a larger container.

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Then I toss the bones and less desirables in the crockpot and cook overnight. I keep the liquid and toss the bones and skin. I then divide the dark meat into several containers and fill with liquid from the crockpot. Now I have the basis for some really good stew or soup. All I have to add are some potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and onions and my husband thinks he is in heaven. Even though he knows I do this in advance, he acts like I have slaved over the stove all day. Such a sweetie.

By Deanna from SLC, Utah

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February 3, 20090 found this helpful

When you toss the bones etc., into the crock pot, how much liquid do you add? I want to try this.

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February 3, 20090 found this helpful

Good for you, Deanna! When you totally utilize a big bird like that it sure goes a long way. I recently read of a practice in fine French kitchens where the bones are cooked a second time for stock along with the usual onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and peppercorns. The second stock is strained and then reduced or boiled down to 1/2 to concentrate the flavor. Great idea and so deliciously cheap - I mean frugal!

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February 3, 20090 found this helpful

I have been doing this for years, but I do mine in a stockpot. Just cover the bones with water, small pieces of meat, skin, and onions; carrots; and celery. Simmer all day. The crockpot sounds like a great way to make stock. The broth can be cooked to a much thicker broth than the canned. Also taste is so much better. Even thought you don't slave over the stove all day it's more work than just opening a can. I think you both have a good deal.

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February 4, 20090 found this helpful

Deanna, I love your idea of the whole meal being frozen for later meals. I've been cooking the turkey, separating the meat for lunches and meals, but never w/ the whole meal on a plate or container as my family is larger. Thanks for the great idea. Frugal Freida

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