Saturday, July 6, 2013

Never Say Never: A Foray into Turkey and Chicken Mince

I've mentioned before that I'm trying to cook more for my family this year. This adventure causes more misses than hits, but my menu is getting more and more varied every week, and I feel pretty good about the nutrition going on in our house.

So even though I am not a food blogger, I knew it was the perfect opportunity when Steggles contacted me to try out some of their products. When I agreed, I honestly was imagining a roast chook and some chicken breasts, things I am reasonably familiar with.

What arrived was HEAPS of chicken and turkey mince, along with a few GINORMOUS chooks. I have never cooked with chicken or turkey mince before, and these chickens were seriously huge, way bigger than the scrawny things I have been picking up for $4.99 at the supermarkets.

Theres more mince hidden underneath, lots and lots of mince

Turkey mince. Colour me stumped. But since I had everything I would need in the cupboards, I tried my hand straight away at the bolognaise recipe included from Steggles and was stunned at the result. The mince was easier to cook with than beef mince, breaking up into nice little grains instead of the clumps I usually get, making a much nicer consistency. Visibly its a little lighter to look at, but the kids didn't notice anything about the appearance or the taste. Husband and I could tell we were eating a different meat, but not in a bad way. Just in a, tastes slightly different, but still very bolognaisy, way.

Given that turkey mince is a bit of a super food, high in protein and low in fat, I'm happy to make the change for our bolognaise now. (We have spag bol at least once a fortnight). Particularly because I'm supposed to be on a high protein diet these days since the Crohns disease diagnosis, but I haven't made great strides in making any dietary changes.

Fast forward a few days, and I had good reason to be thankful for those huge chooks. With my sister and her kids visiting from interstate for the holidays, my home became the visiting point for all our family to see her, and I was able to pull together Sunday lunch for 12 thanks to Steggles.

We haven't had a Sunday roast since I was a little girl, so I was kind of proud of myself for whipping one up with apparent ease. I thought there would be stacks of leftovers (I cooked both chooks), and planned to do chicken Caesar salad for lunch the next day, but it didn't really pan out that way. The kids picked those chooks clean, nibbling every last bit of meat from the carcass. I also gave my very first gravy a try, using the juices from the chickens and mixing with a bit of flour and stock, and it was SO YUMMY! I am never using tinned gravy again now that I know how easy it is to do my own.

My cutie pie niece making sure she doesn't waste anything

With all that mince left in my freezer though, I put the call out for more idea's for using it up. And here are some of the idea's thrown at me from some of my genius Facebook followers:

  • Burgers
  • Meatballs
  • Meatloaf
  • Honey Chicken Rissoles
  • Lasagna
  • Chicken and Rice balls
  • Spring Rolls
  • Thai Green Curry
  • Sausage Rolls

There is plenty more in that list for me to try, but I wanted to cook something completely new to me so I started out with sausage rolls. They turned out so well, I will be sharing the recipe on the blog over the next day or two.

The final verdict? Am I a convert? Absolutely. I will be keeping chicken and turkey mince in our diets, especially since it is so much healthier than beef mince, and we do actually eat a fair amount of mince meals in this house.

Thank you so much to Steggles for this amazing opportunity. Scratch gravy, sausage rolls, turkey meat, these are all new to me and I probably would never have tried them without the push. I encourage everyone to spread their wings (bahaha) and give turkey and chicken mince a whirl if you haven't already.

**Just in case it was not clear, I received some product to try out. The adventure was my own, and the risk of trying out my culinary efforts was my family's. I also received some Roosters merchandise, however my husband forbade me from parading it around lest anyone think we are anything less than devout Eels supporters in this home *cough* #couldcareless *cough*

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