The Turkey Pack

By January 26, 2016

One thing you might see occasionally in your bags is a turkey pack-- a meaty drum, wing and back bone. You have a few options on how to prepare it: braising, poaching, or roasting. Whatever way you choose, the goal internal temperature is 165 degrees, and remember that after cooking the temperature will continue to rise a bit more, so if roasting, take it out of the oven at around 158. Use this recipe to make a pot pie, a turkey noodle soup, a quiche or casserole-- or just pop the cooked meat back in the freezer for another night's dinner! Keep the the bones and the back for making stock.

 1 turkey pack-- 1 wing, 1 drum and 1 back
 2 carrots, roughly chopped
 2-3 ribs celery, roughly chopped
 4 cloves garlic, paper still on
 2 small onions, quartered (or 1 large)
Spices
 2 bay leaves
 1-2 tsp each: black peppercorns, celery seed, and cumin seed
Adam Lambert's Poultry Brine (if roasting)
 1/2 gal water
 1/2 cup of kosher salt
 1/3 cup granulated sugar
 5 sprigs of thyme
 1 lemon, cut in half
 2 bay leaves
 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
To Poach
1

If you want to poach your turkey (great option if you're planning on using the meat in a pot pie or soup), then place all of your ingredients (turkey pack, veggies listed and spices listed, not the Brine Recipe ingredients) in a large (at least 4.5 qt) soup pot or dutch oven. Add enough water to cover (about 8 cups), bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer 1.5-2 hours, until the meat is starting to fall off the bones.

2

Remove the turkey pieces (except the back, that can stay in) and take the meat off of the bones using your fingers (a little messy, but it's the easiest.)

3

Return the bones (stripped of meat and skin) back to the stock pot and bring back to a simmer. Reduce for a few more (4-6) hours, with the lid off. You can also put the pot in a 180 degree oven for up to 8 hours.

4

Strain out any solids--bones, vegetables, whole spices-- by passing through a fine mesh screen (towel lined or not), and then store in the fridge overnight. In the morning, take the fat off the top, and store for later use (in freezer bags or in tupperware) as a stock or the base for a gravy.

5

This turkey meat and turkey stock is ideal for making Parker's Pot Pie or even a turkey noodle soup-- the next day, just bring the stock, a little water and some salt to a boil and cook your pasta right in it, until just shy of fully-cooked. Add diced vege (carrots, onions, celery) and your turkey and cook till noodles are done, and voilĂ , dinner! If using fresh pasta which only takes a minute or two, par cook the veggies first in a little water so they finish at the same time.

To Roast
6

If you have the time the brine your turkey wing and drum, go for it-- even a few hours in a simple salt-water-sugar-peppercorn solution would make it more moist, but this is an optional step. Use Adam Lambert's Poultry brine recipe (as listed makes 8 cups of brine, which should be more than enough for 1 turkey pack) for 4-6 hours, completely submerged. When done, rinse off brine and pat dry with paper towel.

7

Turn your oven to 425. Salt and butter the skin, or even add a spice blend and rub in. Roast your turkey pieces along with all the vege about 20-25 minutes, and then reduce heat to 325 and roast an additional 10-15 minutes until it's done, turning everything occasionally. If you're unsure about whether it's done, use your meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat you can find without touching the bone.

8

Serve the roasted turkey as is and save the bones and the vege. Add the bones, spices, and roasted vege to a stock pot along with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a simmer (on the stove top or in a 180 degree oven) for 4-6 hours. Same process as before, strain out solids, refrigerate overnight, and then skim off fat for turkey stock.

9

Want another fun roasting option? Here are the Pioneer Woman's Caveman Pops.

To Braise
10

We found this delicious recipe on Serious Eats for Red Wine Briased Turkey Legs. Just remember to save the turkey back (if there is a ton of skin and fat on it, this can be removed before making stock) and bones to make your turkey stock for soups, pot pies and gravy.

Ingredients

 1 turkey pack-- 1 wing, 1 drum and 1 back
 2 carrots, roughly chopped
 2-3 ribs celery, roughly chopped
 4 cloves garlic, paper still on
 2 small onions, quartered (or 1 large)
Spices
 2 bay leaves
 1-2 tsp each: black peppercorns, celery seed, and cumin seed
Adam Lambert's Poultry Brine (if roasting)
 1/2 gal water
 1/2 cup of kosher salt
 1/3 cup granulated sugar
 5 sprigs of thyme
 1 lemon, cut in half
 2 bay leaves
 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns

Directions

To Poach
1

If you want to poach your turkey (great option if you're planning on using the meat in a pot pie or soup), then place all of your ingredients (turkey pack, veggies listed and spices listed, not the Brine Recipe ingredients) in a large (at least 4.5 qt) soup pot or dutch oven. Add enough water to cover (about 8 cups), bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer 1.5-2 hours, until the meat is starting to fall off the bones.

2

Remove the turkey pieces (except the back, that can stay in) and take the meat off of the bones using your fingers (a little messy, but it's the easiest.)

3

Return the bones (stripped of meat and skin) back to the stock pot and bring back to a simmer. Reduce for a few more (4-6) hours, with the lid off. You can also put the pot in a 180 degree oven for up to 8 hours.

4

Strain out any solids--bones, vegetables, whole spices-- by passing through a fine mesh screen (towel lined or not), and then store in the fridge overnight. In the morning, take the fat off the top, and store for later use (in freezer bags or in tupperware) as a stock or the base for a gravy.

5

This turkey meat and turkey stock is ideal for making Parker's Pot Pie or even a turkey noodle soup-- the next day, just bring the stock, a little water and some salt to a boil and cook your pasta right in it, until just shy of fully-cooked. Add diced vege (carrots, onions, celery) and your turkey and cook till noodles are done, and voilĂ , dinner! If using fresh pasta which only takes a minute or two, par cook the veggies first in a little water so they finish at the same time.

To Roast
6

If you have the time the brine your turkey wing and drum, go for it-- even a few hours in a simple salt-water-sugar-peppercorn solution would make it more moist, but this is an optional step. Use Adam Lambert's Poultry brine recipe (as listed makes 8 cups of brine, which should be more than enough for 1 turkey pack) for 4-6 hours, completely submerged. When done, rinse off brine and pat dry with paper towel.

7

Turn your oven to 425. Salt and butter the skin, or even add a spice blend and rub in. Roast your turkey pieces along with all the vege about 20-25 minutes, and then reduce heat to 325 and roast an additional 10-15 minutes until it's done, turning everything occasionally. If you're unsure about whether it's done, use your meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat you can find without touching the bone.

8

Serve the roasted turkey as is and save the bones and the vege. Add the bones, spices, and roasted vege to a stock pot along with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a simmer (on the stove top or in a 180 degree oven) for 4-6 hours. Same process as before, strain out solids, refrigerate overnight, and then skim off fat for turkey stock.

9

Want another fun roasting option? Here are the Pioneer Woman's Caveman Pops.

To Braise
10

We found this delicious recipe on Serious Eats for Red Wine Briased Turkey Legs. Just remember to save the turkey back (if there is a ton of skin and fat on it, this can be removed before making stock) and bones to make your turkey stock for soups, pot pies and gravy.

The Turkey Pack

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