This year I cooked Thanksgiving at my place, after taking a few years off from turkey duty. A few revelations emerged:
- Dry brine > wet brine. Nasty old brining liquid, never again.
- All those Greek yogurt containers that everyone makes fun of me for saving sure came in handy at the end of the night
- Serendipitous menu planning resulted in a spot-on turkey soup made with all the leftovers
First up, the broth. Get a big pot. Add turkey carcass. Then, throw in all your veggie platter remnants - a few baby carrots, wilted celery sticks, and some orphan herbs. Fill pot with water and simmer for about 2 hours. Strain and pour into aforementioned yogurt containers. Then chill overnight because now it's 10pm, you've drunk the last of the Blanc de Blanc, eaten 2 more pumpkin muffins, and you're ready to call it. It's easier to scoop off the fat from the stock the next day anyway.
For the body of the soup, I used shredded turkey leftovers, baby carrots (there were Lay's... so a fair bit of carrot remained), extra potatoes from a mash miscommunication, that last onion, garlic, two elderly tomatoes and finally, a whole head of kale that never made it to the cool ranch dip I had envisioned. Red pepper flakes. Simmer. Season. Done.
You'll emerge with loads of amazingly hearty broth (freeze the extra), tasty turkey soup chock full of veggies, plus tons of room in your fridge from all the leftovers you've tackled. Happy lunches for you.
Black Friday Turkey Soup with Kale and Potatoes
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 2 hours 30 min (incl stock) Total Time: 2 hours 45 min
1 turkey carcass, meat removed
handful baby carrots
a few sprigs of herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley stems)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 cup of diced carrot
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
2 cups diced potato (Yukon Gold or any kind of waxy new potato, not Russet)
1 head kale, stemmed and chopped
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cups leftover turkey, shredded
In a very large pot, add turkey carcass, baby carrots, celery and herbs. You may want to break down the turkey to fit into the pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, partially cover, and simmer for about 2 hours. Strain broth into 2 large bowls to cool. Then refrigerate overnight (or use right away).
Skim fat from broth when you're ready to make the soup.
Heat 1 Tbs olive oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add onion, carrot, garlic, a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Cover and cook gently over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and about 8 cups of broth (you will have extra). Cover and cook until potatoes are almost tender, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in kale and tomato and cook another 5 minutes. Add turkey and heat through. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Add a little extra water if the soup gets too thick. Freezes well.