Why is it that every time a new season begins I think that things will be easier– only to be disappointed that every week is just. as. busy. as the last? I thought that with school ending and older kids around to help out with the house I’d magically find myself with tons of free time and I’d finally crack the secret to healthy, delicious dinners every night.
Some days are hectic and I find myself without the time, energy, free hands or a functional enough brain to put it all together. Can you relate?
So far, though, I have figured out one trick that’s really helped me save my sanity and avoid last minute trips for take-out: batch cooking on the weekends.
I love when I can manipulate one ingredient into different meals. It means less time in the kitchen, less dishes and less cleanup, too!
Today we’re talking turkey. By massaging it with delicious pesto we’re imparting so much flavor with barely any work, making this the perfect weeknight recipe. We used a homemade recipe but if you cant find any fresh basil you could certainly use your favorite store bought version.
Typically “brick chicken” is made on a grill by literally putting a brick over your chicken to push it flat. We recreated this in the kitchen with turkey (obviously) using a cast iron skillet as a weight. The end result is a seared skin with a nice, crunchy skin. To finish it off and let it cook the rest of way, simply transfer the pan to the oven.
Now here’s the fun part: leftovers! In order to get the most from your meal, I love to make plans for the leftovers. Dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow, how perfect is that?
- Serve turkey that night over a bed of rice and top with a pan gravy. We made a light but flavorful sauce by mixing the drippings with a bit of heavy cream.
- Cold, leftover turkey meat makes an amazing wrap when mixed with fresh veggies like carrots and cucumbers.
- Have a few minutes to heat up the stovetop? Fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, a few sprigs of basil and turkey on buttery bread makes an excellent panini.
- Reserve the bones and neck to make broth. By getting all of those nutrients you can make a tasty and nutrient-dense soup base. We made a fun summer version of “chicken and dumpling” soup by combining loads of veggies, broth and boiling pesto-dumplings into it. Super unique and delicious! (If you all are interested in that recipe I can share that one too, just let me know!)