As you all know, I live by two mottoes. The first is: The more the merrier. The second is: Waste not, want not.
The first has nothing to do with this blog, but the second is more applicable.
There are plenty of things to do with leftover turkey - sandwiches, casseroles, soups - but what about all those bones? After all, you paid for them!
Don't throw out your turkey carcass after Thanksgiving dinner this year (not that anybody would ever dream of doing such a wild thing)! Instead, use it to make a delicious turkey broth, for delicious turkey noodle soup.
This is a basic stock recipe. Modify according to your tastes, desires, haves and have-nots.
If you have room, you can store the turkey carcass in the fridge overnight (don't hesitate to break it up to get it into a smaller bowl or bag). Or, if you have a fairly efficient clean-up crew, your hands will be free to set this up on the stove to percolate while you enjoy pie. It takes about as long to get it cooking as it does to clear a space in the fridge!
Turkey Carcass Broth
After dinner, remove the majority of the meat and any remaining dressing from the turkey. Don’t worry about getting it all off; after cooking, the bits of meat can be removed from the bones and added to the soup. Refrigerate if you are going to cook it the next day. Remove the wishbone to dry, if you are going to use it later for making a wish!
Put the broken turkey carcass and skin into a large kettle or stockpot. Cover with water and add (if you wish):
2 tsp salt (you can add more later if you want)
About ½ teaspoon pepper, to taste or optional
2 teaspoons garlic powder, or about 1 tablespoon crushed fresh garlic
1-2 teaspoons curry powder, to taste or optional
½ onion, chopped
2-4 ribs celery, chopped
Cover kettle or stockpot and simmer for 1 to 12 hours. I like to let it simmer at a very low heat overnight for a richer, more flavorful broth. Remove carcass and set aside, strain broth and refrigerate (you may need to set the bowl of broth in an ice -bath to cool down as demonstrated with the beef broth, so that it doesn't heat your refrigerator up too badly). The fat will harden on top of the broth; remove the fat and discard.
Pick any meat from the carcass; now you can throw the bones away.
Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup
Put the homemade broth into a large kettle or stockpot. You can either saute the following vegetables in a little fat, or just add straight to the stock.
Add chopped vegetables of your choice, such as carrots, onions, celery, cabbage, potatoes, peas, beans, corn, canned tomatoes, frozen mixed veggies, green beans – whatever you have on hand.
Add some diced-up leftover turkey. I do not like to add the following to soups because they bloat and get soggy after a few hours, but you can serve the soup with or over: egg noodles, broken spaghetti noodles, rice, barley, etc. If the soup is thick and chunky enough, you could serve it over crisped stuffing (spread leftover stuffing on a greased baking sheet and bake or broil in the oven for a few minutes). Season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic and, if needed, a couple of chicken bouillon cubes.
Glance through your leftovers and see if you have any miscellaneous scraps to toss in - other cooked vegetable dishes (green bean or creamed corn casserole, yams, roasted potatoes), meats (bits of ham), etc.
Simmer about 30 – 60 minute or until vegetables are cooked. Thicken with leftover gravy and mashed potatoes.
May your table be stocked this Thanksgiving!