Friday, November 18, 2011

The Many-Purposed Turkey

Dear food-shoppers and dinner-makers,

As Thanksgiving approaches, many a household cook is drawing up shopping lists, working out who will make what, which day she'll start that, and, of course, totaling up the cost.

A good number of you are already planning to have a turkey at your festivities.  Many years when I was growing up, we would just prepare a huge turkey roaster full of Butterball turkey breasts (I think we had nine, one year ... ), so we didn't have leftover bones or giblets.  But now we seem to be going for the whole bird, and of course, in my home we always roast a whole turkey ... because I just can't live without the special treat of rich, aromatic turkey broth!

Dinner has been finished ... The turkey has been long since carved, the bones toppled over on the cutting board, bleaching like any self-respecting skeleton.  Dishes are being cleared away, leftover Frog-Eye Salad scooped into a plastic bowl, leftover rolls shuttled into plastic bags.  Amidst all this cleaning and redding, I like to get a big pot of turkey broth started right away.

This cook uses the giblets in the broth; I usually use them for the gravy, so
they are not around long enough to see the broth-pot. But if you are looking
for an alternative way to use the giblets, click here!
Just another way to eke a few more dollars from that turkey and see to it that nothing is wasted, the broth is often used up within a few days to make turkey soup from the Thanksgiving leftovers - nothing like coming in from a frosty backyard with red fingers, red noses, and bright eyes, and having a steaming bowl of this succulent goodness plopped down in front of you!

If I know I'm not going to use the broth up within a few days, I just can it as soon as it's strained.  In fact, I use my big Presto pressure cooker to cook the broth in, so I turn right around and wash it up to can the broth!

Canning Turkey Broth
Here's a recipe for a basic, simple turkey broth, and instructions for pressure canning.  You can not can turkey broth in a boiling water bath - the temperatures will not go high enough to kill bacteria in the broth.  If you don't want to can it, you can always freeze it!

Rich Turkey Broth & Leftover Turkey-Noodle Soup
Here are instructions (I am not sure that an actual recipe exists ... it's all based on your unique leftovers!) for a more flavorful turkey broth, and instructions for a delicious, memorable turkey soup!  To be honest, there have been many times throughout the year that I have craved this delicacy, but it is heresy to make it at any time other than Thanksgiving!

And therein lies the magic ...

Mrs H

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