Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Killing Two Birds with One Stone: Deli-style Turkey Breast and Homemade Stock

The finished product, YUMMY!
We love deli sandwiches and wraps here, but deli meat is so expensive and often leaves much to desired in the flavor department. Since attempting deli roast beef last year, I have wanted to try my hand at other deli meats, namely turkey. So after stopping by the deli only to find that turkey was a whopping $4.48/lb on sale, I decided to pick up a couple of turkey breasts while I was at the store, which I got for $1.99/lb. I know that some of the weight is the carcass (ribs, wings, and such) so I knew I'd probably only get about half the weight in actual meat but decided that having some homemade stock on hand would be a good thing. I will admit that the process takes a few days to complete but it's fairly easy to do and taste A-MAZING. So here goes...

First things first - Brine.
I first attempted brining after watching an Alton Brown episode on Thanksgiving turkey prep, and let me say that I don't think I could ever go back to not brining my turkey. It's just that good.

  • 6 cups water
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp McCormick's Tuscan seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 (6-7 lb each) turkey breasts, thawed
  1. Cut the breast meat off the bones of each turkey leaving in one piece with the skin attached. Place each breast, skin-side up, into a lidded bowl. 
  2. In a separate bowl, combine water, salt, brown sugar, Tuscan seasoning, and peppercorn. Mix thoroughly and pour half of the mixture over each turkey breast. Add enough water to each to cover the turkey. Cover and refrigerate 9-16 hours. I just toss it in the fridge overnight. 
At this point I prep my stock using the leftover turkey carcasses. See the recipe below.

Second Step - Turkey Stock in your Crockpot.
Now, in my opinion, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in wasting all the delicious left in the carcasses so I make stock. I love to keep homemade stock on hand because it just tastes so good, it's cheaper than buying stock, it's easy to do, and I know what's in it. The fact that it's prepped in the slow cooker while you busy yourself with other things (or in my case, usually while I sleep) makes it even better.
  • 10-12 cups cold water
  • 1 cup carrot slices
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped 
  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
Toss the carcasses, water, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, salt, celery seed, pepper, and parsley into a 6-7 quart crockpot. Leave it on low for 10 hours. 
Drain your stock. I start with a colander for the large stuff and then move to a mesh sieve for the smaller bits. Measure into quart jars or freezer bags depending on when you plan to use it. I did mine up into 4 quart freezer bags and ended up with 18 cups of stock. 

Third Step - Roasting.
This is probably the most time consuming step of them all so let's get started.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Take your turkey out of the fridge and rinse it.

Roll the meat of your turkey tightly in a cylinder shape (like pictured). Wrap the skin around and secure with kitchen twine or a metal kitchen skewer.

Place each breast in a separate greased 9"x13" pan.

Roast your turkey in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

This is the part where your house really starts to smell good.

Lower the temp on your oven to 300 degrees.

Pull your turkey out of the oven, cover LOOSELY with foil, and place back in the oven.

Continue cooking for another hour and fourty-five minutes or so, until a meat thermometer read 165 degrees.

Let your turkey rest for 30 minutes then move them to the same pan, cover with one of your foils and refrigerate.

Once your turkey is completely cooled, slice thinly and enjoy on your favorite sandwich. Our favorite use for deli turkey is on a BLTA (bacon, lettuce, tomato, turkey, and avocado) sandwich. Mmmm, yum!

No comments:

Post a Comment