A Ten Dollar Turkey

We were put in charge of Thanksgiving pies this year. We made an amazing vegan gluten-free pumpkin pie, Pioneer Woman’s Dreamy Apple Pie, and my Granny’s peach cobbler. I had no plans to buy a turkey.


I went into Walmart to buy Coke Zero and walked out with a $10 bird. I don’t even know how it happened. I saw a sign that said 70-some-cents/lb for young turkeys and I just picked one up. My plans for this turkey were far from Thanksgiving. This was a freezer protein goldmine. It was going to be prepared for soup, barbecue, stir-fry, and sandwiches.

If you are a single income family, then you probably understand the excitement of finding protein deals. It is an adrenaline rush to find it on a markdown, prep it all, and bag it up for the freezer. I bring very little income to our family, but I sure stretch what we have in incredible ways. Not trying to toot my own horn…but I basically rock it in the deals department.

Back to the turkey. It was the best turkey I have ever tasted. I loved that it didn’t have a Thanksgiving flavor. It tasted more like eating a turkey leg at a fair. Or a rotisserie chicken. I give the credit to the rub:

  • 1 heaping tbsp paprika
  • 2 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

I modified my favorite one from 100 Days of Real Food…the one I use for all my crockpot roasted chickens. It is fabulous and beats out any other rub I have tried. The sage added a good depth to the turkey. I rubbed the bird with some olive oil, placed a few veggies under the rack, and let it cook for about 10 hours in the roaster I borrowed from my mama.

The broth, as always, was easy. I put the bones, skin, fat, and drippings into my borrowed crockpot, filled it up with water, and let it cook all night. Strained it, cooled it, scraped the fat off, and froze it. Best broth ever.

I ended up making three yummy, nutritious, and ridiculously easy recipes with the turkey. Northern Turkey Soup, Stuffed Barbecue Sweet Potatoes, and Orange Turkey Stir-Fry. {recipes are below}

So happy I just happened on that turkey sale! A $10 bill, a 14 lb turkey, and 30 total minutes of work resulted in 16 cups of turkey meat and almost that much broth.

We just finished the last of the soup from the freezer today. Dave heated it up while I was nursing a sick baby. He also made Pioneer Woman’s Sloppy Joes this weekend. One of our favorite meals. And made better by 90/10 ground sirloin for $2.60/lb. Protein deals, I love you. Not as much as I love my husband who cooks, but you are pretty close to the top ten…




Remember, this isn’t a food blog. So, don’t expect fancy photos or anything gourmet.

Northern Turkey Soup

I put 2 c. of the cooked turkey in the bottom of the crockpot with 1 c. of uncooked rice and 1/2 c. of dried split peas. I sauteed most of a small diced onion, 3 chopped carrots, 3 chopped ribs of celery, 1 tsp of minced garlic, and 1 cup of sweet potatoes in 1-inch cubes. Then dumped them in the crockpot. I heated up 8 c. of the homemade broth in my Pampered Chef microwave cooker and added 1/2 tsp of pepper, a dash of salt, a dash of sage, and 1 tbsp of parsley flakes. Then, I dumped that into the crockpot. I put it on low for 8 hours. It made lots of leftovers…perfect for the freezer. And it was so quick to prepare, because I already had most of the vegetables chopped and in the freezer.

Stuffed Barbecue Sweet Potatoes

I put 3 c. of cooked turkey in the bottom of the crockpot. I whisked 1 c. ketchup {I sometimes make my own}, 1 c. water, 1/2 c. red wine vinegar, 6 tbsp brown sugar, 4 tbsp white sugar, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp mustard, 1 tbsp juice squeezed from an orange, 1/2 tbsp pepper, and 1/2 tbsp onion powder. I brought it to a boil on the stovetop while I wrapped a half dozen sweet potatoes in aluminum foil. I dumped the sauce on the turkey and set the sweet potatoes on top. Cooked it on low for 6 hours.

Editor’s Note: I made this with chicken, and it was one of Dave’s favorites. It tasted even better with turkey. The day I made it with turkey, I was a bit distracted and accidentally used regular potatoes. I was able to fit in a few sweet potatoes on top. It tastes fabulous over both! Adelaide also loves it, especially when I pair it with some sweet peas from the freezer.

bbq sweet potato 1sweet potato 2sweet potato 3sweet potato 4

Orange Turkey Stir-Fry

I put 2 peeled oranges in the food processor. I add 1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce {I usually make my own…for Bess}, 1/4 c. water, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and a dash of ginger. I process until smooth. Then, I take 3 c. of the cooked turkey from the freezer and put it in a plastic container. I just dump the pureed orange sauce on top. I put it in the fridge for at least 18 hours. For dinner, I put the turkey only {no marinade} on the stovetop with frozen green beans and broccoli. I cook until the turkey is nice and carmelized and the veggies are al dente. I serve it over rice that was cooked with half water and half homemade broth or all water with a dash of ginger. I have made it with both chicken and turkey. So good. But too spicy for the kiddos…so this is a meal for Mommy and Daddy only. We usually pair it with a movie and call it a DATE NIGHT.


Almost 1,000 words about a $10 turkey that wasn’t even on my shopping list and some gluten-dairy-egg-free recipes? You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.






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One thought on “A Ten Dollar Turkey

  1. […] found a great deal on chicken breasts. At first, Dave wanted me to turn all 11 lbs of it into his favorite bbq chicken. But I grabbed a crockpot cookbook from the pantry…thanks, mama…and we flipped through […]


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