Even though today is Halloween I decided to bake the turkey for Thanksgiving. Actually, I baked two turkeys because they were a little on the small side.
I put the turkeys in the oven overnight and just finished taking the meat off the bones and putting it in the freezer.
If feels so good to have that big job out of the way. Since I baked two turkeys I had enough meat left for us to eat tonight and to give to my brother’s family (I’m cooking their supper Friday night since they just had a new baby.).
When I bake a turkey I usually add about an inch of water to my big roasting pan and put on the lid. If I am cooking the turkey overnight I usually set my oven temperature to 225-250 degrees.
I use a meat thermometer to be sure the turkey is fully cooked. If the temperature reads 190 degrees or above I know it is ready.
After the meat cooled I separated it from the bone and placed it into a large baking dish. I strained the broth and then poured it over the meat.
I always cover turkey with broth when I freeze it and it always tastes like I just baked it. Plus, it is very moist and tender this way.
I covered my pan with plastic wrap and two layers of aluminum foil. The label I made has a reminder to take of the plastic wrap because it would be just like me to bake the turkey with the plastic wrap still on.
Right now I have a big stock pot full of turkey bones, water, and a tablespoon of vinegar simmering to make bone broth.
After the broth has simmered for several hours I will strain it and then freeze the broth for use in recipes later on. I also will see if my mom wants some to use for the noodles and dressing she will be bringing on Thanksgiving.
If you are wondering about why I added vinegar to the broth it is because it helps leach the calcium out of the bones. This makes for a very nutritious broth.
Oftentimes, I add more water and vinegar to the bones and do the whole process over again. So, don’t throw the turkey bones out this Thanksgiving and you will be able to fill your freezer with broth.
Have you ever baked your Thanksgiving turkey ahead of time? I highly recommend giving it a try to help you have a stress-free holiday.
Previous Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Posts
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