I'm not a cheapskate. Okay, well, maybe a little. I like to think I'm frugal, not stingy. So when I find a good deal on food that stretches the budget, but also tastes delicious and isn't radically unhealthy, I get pretty excited.
I would love to be one of those coupon ladies. You know, you lucky American readers of mine, you seem to have a 4 for 1 coupon plus a double coupon day at any store you like! (insert jealous sigh here) Unfortunately though, it does seem that most of those coupons are for Pop Tarts and marshmellow cream which don't count as food in my books and aren't really on my weekly menu. Alas, perhaps Coupon menu planning wouldn't work for me anyhow.
But I digress. Thanks to Martha Stewart's magazine cover this month, I've been drooling over the thought of roast chicken. There are myriad ways to roast a chicken and every one looks better than the last. My bright idea was to buy two roasters this week and cook them simultaneously, thus ensuring a meal plus leftovers.
Twas not to be, fair reader. It was not to be. You see, I got looking at recipes and realized that a 3 pound chicken is expected to feed only 4 people. That would never do. Now we aren't really 'big meat eaters' so I figured the two chickens I meant to cook would do us a meal with maybe enough leftovers to add to a pot of soup. Not bad. Off to the local supermarket I went in search of the plumpest, cheapest chickens I could find.
Well, the cheapest two ended up being the ONLY two left in the store and they were going to cost me nearly $20! This did not sound like a deal, but I had it in my mind that it would be worth it.
But then....OH BUT THEN I rounded the corner and found the turkey section. Dear lovely overlooked-at-Christmas Turkeys, I am so glad to have found you! I put back my chickens and selected a $22 turkey that was nearly 2 pounds more than the two chickens combined and brought it home to my happy kitchen.
Last night I roasted the turkey. I rubbed pesto butter under and on top of the skin, and placed a juiced lemon in the cavity (if you don't juice it first it makes for an overly lemony gravy. Not interested in that. So juice that baby and save the juice for something else.) For supper last night we had a typical roast turkey with gravy and mashed potatoes. Yum.
Then, as I was cutting up the rest of the meat for our leftover meals I decided that I would make a turkey pot pie casserole with the leftover gravy and a few cups of cut up turkey and some frozen vegetables. I assembled it and put it directly in to the freezer for some night I don't have time to prepare a meal.
Then, I made a stunning broth out of the bones etc. and used another few cups of meat and the broth in the best turkey noodle soup of my life! (Recipe to follow!) It was enough for lunch today (with a few of the kids eating more than one bowl) with more left over for tomorrow.
Then, there are still another 3-4 cups of meat that I intend to make a pasta dish later this month.
I don't know about you, but feeding 9 people at least 5 meals out of one $22 turkey sounds like a pretty good deal! Imagine if the turkey had been on sale?! (My eyes will be watching the flyers a little more closely for them now).
Anyhow, I just needed to share with you that happiness of my grocery shopping. I know some of you will relate to my glee over the whole matter :-)
Now for the soup recipe! (Brace yourself for a whole lot of non-specifics!)
For the Broth:
Turkey bones, skin etc.
Enough water to cover
1-2 tbsp peppercorns
2-3 tsp dried dill
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 carrots scrubbed (not peeled) and cut into thirds
Bring to boil. Then simmer for 2 hours or more. (Less time works too, but the flavour won't be as concentrated. More time works better if you have the time to spare)
Strain, discarding solids. Use immediately, or freeze for another day.
For the Soup:
3-4 cups cut up cooked turkey
1 red onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
a good sized shake of Epicure pesto seasoning (or a couple spoonfuls of prepared pesto)
a good shake of celery seed (I would have used fresh celery, but I didn't have it)
2-3 cups cooked penne (or other noodle as you like)
Broth to cover ingredients in pot (add water from the cooked pasta if necesary)
Saute the carrot and onion in a splash of oil. Add turkey, seasonings and broth. Bring to a boil. Then simmer until carrots and onion are cooked. Add noodles. Add salt and pepper to taste. Try to restrain yourself from eating 3 bowls at one sitting. :-) (Will freeze well).
Yum! What do you do with leftover turkey?