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Canning Turkey

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This Thanksgiving, my pressure canner gave me so much freedom in regards to dealing with turkey leftovers. Normally, I’m putting together casseroles and soups for the freezer using turkey, making my family eat turkey days, and cooking turkey stock for hours upon hours. Not this year. Dealing with leftovers is a snap with my pressure cooker/canner.

Let’s first talk about stock. The pressure cooker makes stock in 30 minutes, and it’s the richest stock I’ve ever made. Here’s how I make mine.  It’s so easy. No, cooking down the stock for a concentrated flavor. The pressure cooker does that for you. Regarding the turkey meat itself, I’ve tried to freeze cooked turkey (non-deli) alone, and it ends up tasting gamey. It has to actually be in something, like a pot pie, soup or casserole. After cooking a big Thanksgiving meal, I end up spending a couple days making pot pies, casseroles, and soups. I did make turkey soup this year, but I didn’t pre-cook it — I let the canner do all the work, and here’s how. It took some assembling, but again, it was easy.

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What this post is about, however, is putting up stand-alone turkey. Instead of assembling casseroles and taking up freezer space, I simply canned the turkey in stock. Just put the turkey in a clean canning jar, and fill with stock, leaving 1 inch head space.

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After securing rims and lids, pressure can for 75 minutes for pints, and 90 minutes for quarts.

Canned turkey is actually better than roasted turkey. It is tender, moist, and full of slow-cooked flavor. If you need a quick protein choice for dinner, just open a can of turkey, serve with mashed potatoes and a can of vegetables. If you want to make a soup or pot pie, just pop open a can of turkey. It’s such a healthy, economical convenience food, and now you can enjoy turkey any day of the year.

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