Thanksgiving 2016 – An Economical 12 Pound Turkey

Sorry for the picture overload but I wanted to show how many meals you can get out of one 12 pound turkey … 16 servings of boneless breast meat, 10 turkey patties, at least 2 or 3 turkey mole wraps or whatever you want to do with the drumsticks. And then there’s the turkey stock from the carcass. Oh, and that wingette snack.

The best part was that it was only 99 cents a pound.


This year’s turkey was a frozen, young male, utility grade and weighed twelve pounds. Tasty and, as always, economical. He’s missing his left wingette and wing tip, which is what makes him utility and not Grade A.

Thanksgiving 2016 Supper – four servings just from the tenderloin roll

Leftovers – Hassleback potatoes and the rest of the swiss chard and mushrooms stuffing instead of a salad.

Because I had boned a whole chicken before, I thought I’d be able to bone this turkey too. However, I forgot all the tendons and ligaments on the drumsticks (pliers would have helped), and, my less than optimal boning knife had a hard time removing the flesh from the bone. It didn’t help that I decide to try de-boning from the front. I ended up hacking up the skin of the back.

After spending about 15-20 min on one drumstick (the guy in the video I watched did the whole turkey in 20 minutes) I gave up on boning the other drumstick.

Mostly boned turkey – Those are most of the tendons found in the drumstick, on the blue plate.

The breast on the left was marinated with garlic, dried sage and rosemary, salt and pepper and lemon zest. The one on the right was stuffed with sauteed swiss chard, mushroom and diced onions as were the 2 tenderloins (pounded flat first) in the middle. All three were tied and baked at 350 deg F for about an hour.

Close-ups of the sage and rosemary marinated turkey breast

After baking and cooling, the two breasts were wrapped up tightly in saran wrap and foil and frozen away in a large freezer bag. Each one will provide 6 servings of boneless breast meat.

The wingette was baked along with the carcass (stored away for stock) and served on Saturday … my reward for that boning job.

Drumsticks, bone in and mostly boned, seared and then braised in mole sauce.

Thighs and some of the white meat (ie drumsticks and breast trimmings) were ground up along with green onions, water chestnuts, an egg, soy sauce, 1/4 cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs, and saltΒ  and pepper before being formed into 10 quarter pound patties.


18 thoughts on “Thanksgiving 2016 – An Economical 12 Pound Turkey

      1. Oh my goodness, that is absolutely brilliant. I’m planning to make black bean burgers soon, and I’ll definitely employ that neat tactic! Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚ Onions make everything better!

    1. It’s a bit more work than just roasting the bird whole but you don’t get boring meals. And you can’t beat the price compared to buying just breast or legs etc.

      1. I like that I can optimise getting as much of the skin nice and crispy unless I truss the bird vertically which is my other favourite way of roasting a chook.

      2. Having some liquid boil off in the can inside the chicken certainly helps keep it moist. I’m not sure about beer flavoured chicken though πŸ˜‚

      3. You’re supposed to half empty the can of beer (that’s the part you drink) before impaling the chicken on the can. But, I get your point. πŸ™‚

        Some people have put chicken stock or other flavourful liquid, like your coca cola or ginger ale, in an empty can.

  1. You got a lot of meals out of that turkey! Very creative to debone and stuff the breasts, it presents very nicely. A very beautiful feast you must have had. Happy Thanksgiving, albeit a little late!

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