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Feb 17, 2004 08:37 AM

Frozen Turkey - 1 yr old - what to do?

  • j

Someone generously gave me a 10 lb turkey over a year ago, which has sat in my freezer ever since. It arrived vacuumed sealed, although there is now some evidence of freezer burn (i.e. crystals forming).

Should I merely throw away or it will it be ok for stock? Donate?

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    1. re: Karl S.

      Oh puh-leeze. A one-year-old frozen turkey is still fine - even if it has a few spots of freezer burn on the skin. Those spots are basically just dehydrated areas, not poison. As long as the bird has not thawed during that time, it will still be perfectly safe and delicious to cook in any way you see fit. Ok, so it won't be quite a "fresh" turkey, but it's definitely not garbage!

      Suggestions: Rub the skin with more seasonings than you would usually use (lots of chopped garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, a bit of olive oil, maybe some rosemary) and baste generously. OR try braising the turkey in a covered roaster with lots and lots of whole garlic cloves and some white wine (like 40-garlic-chicken). This won't give you the nice crackly roast-turkey skin, but it will still be delicious.

      And yes, if you must, you can use it to make stock. But don't throw it away - people all over the world are starving!

      1. re: Nyleve

        It depends on the storage, doesn't it? If it's fine, go ahead and cook it. If it really is freezer burned, no amount of extra seasoning is going to make it good.

        I question the logic of your last line, Nyleve. If one person has a ruined piece of food, they're supposed to eat it anyway because other people are starving? That doesn't even begin to make sense.

    2. Donating food to food banks is a great idea, but please don't donate food that you wouldn't eat. If you don't want a freezer burned turkey, why would anyone else? It's just bad food that someone else will have to take the time to throw away.

      Incidentally, and in general (not that you make a practice of it :> ),this also applies to other foods...people too often use food banks as a way to get rid of expired canned foods, stale beans and other crap that they wouldn't touch. This just means that someone else gets inedible food, or the food bank volunteers have to take the time to dispose of it.

      Ok, hopping off my soap box now...

      1. My wife and I once visited a friend over the xmas holidays. The first night I noticed something off tasting about the turkey. I didn't say anything, ate as little of it as possible, and filled up on side dishes. After dinner my friend bragged "Wasn't that turkey great? And I've had it in the freezer since last x-mas!"

        I wouldn't have minded it but over the next several days we were trapped(guests in the house) into eating an endless parade of year old turkey tetrazzini, year old turkey sandwhiches, year old turkey divan, year old turkey soup. I just couldn't bring myself to say anything so I found myself sneaking out during the afternoon for "beer and cigarettes, anyone?" and wolfing down McDonalds(which didn't leave me feeling
        much better).

        I guess a year old turkey would be fine if stored, wrapped well and kept properly frozen. In this case it wasn't.