Wait! You didn’t toss out the turkey bones yet, did you? If not, you have the chance to try out this Turkey Carcass Soup!
Thanksgiving Night (tonight is fine):
Toss the turkey bones, skin, yuckies, and all, into a big stock pot and cover the turkey carcass with water.
Add 1-2 whole, unpeeled onions and about a tablespoon of peppercorns and a few garlic cloves, if you have them. (all of these added ingredients are optional. Other options are 2-3 bay leaves, leeks (washed, but toss in all of it), and whole fresh herbs like oregano, chives, thyme).
Turn this pot on low and let simmer all night long (if you have less time, boil the water, then reduce to low and simmer for at least four hours. The longer time, the more rich the stock, though.
The next morning:
Strain all of the whole ingredients from the stock. You are left with rich, brown turkey stock (especially if you had a deep-fried turkey this year!). You can either boil this stock to reduce it (this will strengthen the flavor even further), or – this is what I do – you can freeze some of the stock for later soups (any time a recipe asks for chicken or turkey stock, use your own!).
Keep enough stock in the pot for your Turkey Soup: 8 cups worth, or so?
Later in the day, about 1-2 hours before dinner:
To the stock, add the following leftovers and ingredients:
- a Tablespoon of salt (I use Kosher)
- Thanksgiving leftover veggies (green beans, carrots, whatever sounds good in soup)
- Thanksgiving leftover mashed potatoes (these help thicken the soup)
- Thanksgiving leftover turkey meat
- chopped onion and garlic (if you’d like)
- other Thanksgiving leftovers that would be good in a soup
Let this soup simmer for 1/2 hour to 2 hours (or all day, like I do, but add the veggies – carrots, green beans – at the last 1/2 hour so they won’t be too mushy).
A 1/2 hour before dinner:
Add some noodles – homemade or purchased, or some biscuits to the soup and cook/simmer until they are done. Or, use serve leftover Thanksgiving dinner rolls with the Turkey Carcass Soup.
This is one of my husband’s favorite meals, with homemade noodles or dumplings in it. Mmmmm!
by Lori Seaborg