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Year old frozen turkey

So, I'm a little embarrassed to post this question, but I have a turkey that has been sitting in our freezer for almost a whole year. Last year, my mother in-law kept on insisting that I take advantage of the grocery store turkey sales around thanksgiving and so I picked one up and it's been taking up freezer space ever since then.

Question... is it still safe to roast? Thanksgiving is going to be really low key this year since I'm expecting baby #2 really soon... no need to impress guests or in-laws. I'd feel bad just tossing it. Can I defrost it to make something else... oh, I dunno, enchiladas or a soup?


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  1. Here's you chance to be inventive! Try the deep fried with Cajun spices. How about doing it on the barbecue. The turkey is ok after spending time in the deep freeze, and since you are not going to be entertaining, try something new and different.

    1. Supermarket turkey is usually sealed in plastic so it keeps longer that stuff you just put in the freezer. After you defrost it (in the fridge, takes about 2-3 days), take the plastic wrap off, if it looks and smells fine, it is, and fine to roast. If parts of it look freezer burnt you can cut them off and use the rest for soup or whatever. If it smells bad I'd toss it and not use it for soup either.

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        1. Intending to make stock at a later date, I once froze a roasted turkey carcass and immediately forgot about it. The stock I eventually made about a year later was disgusting, so I threw the whole lot in the harbour. The crabs loved it!

          1. The turkey should be fine; I buy a couple of turkeys when on sale and save them in my deep freezer for later. I cooked one last year that was in my freezer for a year at Thanksgiving and it was delicious. As long as it has not been thawed or had any temperature changes while frozen, it should be ok

            1. Hm, thanks for all of the advice! I think I'll take it out and defrost it per the suggestions in the other threads and see how it looks & smells after defrosting... if all is good, we'll definitely use some of the bird/carcass to make my favorite post thanksgiving turkey congee/jook. Yum!

              Oh, also just wondering... what parts of the turkey do the supermarkets use when they sell "ground turkey?" Our thanksgiving dinner guests just canceled so I get to be really creative this year. :)

              1. While I'm not suggesting you give *this* turkey to the food bank (though I'm sure it's fine), everyone should consider that option if they find themselves earning more than one turkey at their various grocery stores. I worked at our bank last year before T'giving and it was so sad to run out of turkeys long before the line of people ran out. A package of chicken pieces just isn't the same.

                1. Same thing happened to me. I defrosted it in cold water and put the whole thing in a large pot and covered it with water, chunks of onions, carrots and celery. Seasoned with salt and pepper. It made a great stew.

                  1. We used to get a couple of turkeys when they were free if you made a certain purchase and feeeze one, have it about a year later, we thawed in fridge for 2 to 3 days and it was always moist and tender.

                    1. If it has been in a chest freezer it is probably fine but if it was in your fridge's freezer the temp will have been less consistent and it would be more prone to freezer burn. Do defrost it thoroughly, smell and look for freezer burn before deciding how to use it. If the surface is questionable, you may still be able to remove the breast meat and trim the surface off, then slice the rest into cutlets. You can certainly grind any of it that is of decent quality. If you have a dog or cat, you can boil up the parts you don't want - they will be happy to eat them. Or offer the rejected parts to a pet-owning friend.