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How to Freeze Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

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I don’t know about you, about a week before Thanksgiving I was having dreams of putting on stretchy pants and feasting on turkey, gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole and  mashed potatoes. And, I love Thanksgiving leftovers as much as the next person, but the thought of having some reheated turkey this many days after Thanksgiving? Not so much.

It happens around this time each year- that’s when I find myself starting to get bored with leftovers. By day four, I’m like “no more!”  My dose of Thanksgiving turkey usually holds my turkey cravings at bay for a few months, but without fail, late spring/early summer rolls around and I find myself wanting it again. I don’t know how you are, but when late spring/early summer rolls around, I always find myself wishing for turkey, but making the house all hot by cooking a full bird doesn’t sound appetizing.

This is how I fill my need for turkey after the holidays are long gone- I make a big bird- the biggest I can find and then I portion off the meat for Thanksgiving dinner and two days after.  The rest of the meat is removed from the bird and put into individual freezer bags with a bit of turkey broth and then placed into a Tupperware container and into the freezer. Clearly, I go to great lengths to make sure freezer burn won’t touch my turkey.

The frozen meat will last for a couple months (you should try to eat it within around five months). But there’s a big catch to making sure you properly store and freeze your leftover Thanksgiving turkey- you need to be sure to put broth (1/3 to ½ cup) in each bag of meat because freezing tends to dry out the turkey. The broth will help it keep moist and will act as a baste when the meat is thawing.

When you’re ready to re-live Thanksgiving in the spring, just pull out a bag of turkey and let it defrost in the fridge. Then heat, and eat!

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