Thursday, December 2, 2010

Make Ahead Turkey


In more recent years I've abandoned the method of making a whole turkey and have been experimenting with the faster method of cooking a cut-up turkey.

I put the turkey breast in my crock pot with vegetables and broth.  When it's cooked through, I take the lid off the crock, and put it with the turkey in the oven for a while to brown the skin.  It turns out moist and very tasty.  I cook the legs, wings and thighs either in another crock pot using the same method or roast in the oven.

This year, I decided to use a slightly different method.  I have an all-in-one slow cooker, which means it cooks like an electric skillet as well as a slow cooker.  First, my hubby cut the turkey into parts.

I then browned each part on all sides.

I took all the turkey pieces out, put some cut-up veggies (celery, carrots, and onions) in the bottom of the cooker and two cans of chicken broth.

I simmered the turkey for about three or four hours.  I kept checking the meat until it was cooked through the thickest parts.

This year I made the Thanksgiving meal the weekend before, so I cooled the turkey parts, put in an air-tight container and put right into the freezer.

To reheat, I thawed in the refrigerator for a whole day.  The next morning, I put the turkey back in my all-in-one slow cooker, even though it wasn't all the way, but almost defrosted.  I turned the slow cooker on high.  It was heated through and just as moist and delicious as the day I made it.

Personally, I think I will go back to the first method I described with slow cooking first, then browning.  It turns out just a bit better in my opinion, although, this method is a close second.


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