Monday, February 20, 2012

You Turkey

For the last half dozen years or so, we’ve been eating Thanksgiving dinner at the house of a friend. Christmas we spend at John’s sister’s house every three years or so. When we’re home, we are more likely to cook roast beef or pork than turkey.  So it has been several years since we’ve had a roast turkey in the house. Last week I woke up craving turkey, and since it was my turn to grocery shop anyway, I added turkey breast to the list.

I was actually able to find a fresh one (or possibly a previously frozen and then thawed one), which meant I was able to cook it for dinner. It was small, just under 6 pounds, but a 6 pound turkey breast is still a lot of turkey for two people.

Half of it I froze to use later in making chili blanco. A friend of mine substitutes turkey for the chicken and I’ve been wanting to try it. (Usually I substitute pork tenderloin for the chicken.) The ribs and breastbone of course went to make soup, one-third of which we had for a lunch, one-third of which is in the refrigerator for later this week, and  the last third of which is in the freezer for another time when we are not sick of turkey.

I made turkey hash for lunch today, and half of that is in the freezer. There is still a large chunk of turkey left.

So I’m thinking of turning it into a turkey pot pie casserole to donate to St. Anonymous, which keeps a freezer of casseroles to donate to those who are sick, just had babies, or are facing other family emergencies which interfere with cooking. I can find a disposable baking pan. What I can’t find is a recipe I like. The classic turkey pot pie recipes I find are made to cook in a ten inch pie pan with crust on top and bottom. The casserole recipes I can find either call for prepared biscuit mix toppings or seem extremely complex. I want to make something that tastes good, which rules out the recipes that are essentially “toss diced turkey together with one can of soup and two cans of mixed vegetables and top with biscuit mix.” The recipients are already under stress; they don’t need bad food on top of it all. On the other hand, my main criterion for a good recipe is that after one or two go-rounds, I should have it memorized. (IOW, the only thing written by Julia Child I have around my house is My Life in France).

I would just improvise, but I need to include instructions for baking time and temperature with the casserole and while I’m perfectly happy to improvise those when I cook for myself, I want to make sure I give other people reliable information.

Maybe I should just make some more turkey soup.

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