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In fact, I propose we make even more leftovers - by using the carcass itself. I guess a lot of people would think it sounds kind of nasty, but those turkey bones will make you some really good soup. It shouldn't be surprising - meat on the bone has more flavor, and making stock from beef bones is a standard. My mother made great stock from the turkey carcass every year.
First came the stock, rich and delicious, and then came the soup for dinner, made from the stock with the addition of more veggies and meat and some noodles or rice. She would also put stock in the freezer, to make a couple of batches of chicken soup for the cold days of January and February.
Break the turkey carcass apart so that it will fit in whatever kettle you are using to cook your broth. Put it in the pot and cover it with water. Throw in your onions and celery (the onion skins help make the broth a nice color). Add some herbs if you like, but remember that you want your stock to be nice and versatile for using later. I add peppercorns and bay leaves, nothing else.
Put the lid on the pot and bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Now simmer it for at least a few hours. You want to get every last bit of flavor out of the bones and any of the turkey and stuffing that was left on them. The veggies, especially the carrots, will get very soft, and may even break up. These aren't for dining on, just for giving the stock flavor and nutrition. You will be taking them out of the stock.
The last step is to get every bone and all the bay leaves and soggy veggies out. You can do this by putting everything into cheesecloth and tying it off before you add the water. I think this uses to much cheesecloth, but that's just me. I let the stock cool, line a big colander with a double layer of cheesecloth, set the colander into a large bowl, and I separate it out that way, letting the colander drain thoroughly. The bones finally get to go into the trash. I pick through what is left to get any good bits of turkey out to put into soup that night. There is usually a surprising amount of good turkey left.
Divide the stock up into parts, enough to make soup for dinner, if you are doing that, and the rest to freeze. 1 and 2 cup containers are good. To use the stock, make your soup as you usually would, but use your own, homemade stock instead of water, cans, or bouillon cubes. It'll be a lot tastier and healthier than anything out of a can or a cube.
Source: My Mom, Vicy Mundorff
By Free2B from North Royalton, OH
I freeze leftover chopped turkey at Thanksgiving and make this soup a couple of months later. Chicken would be just as good. My kids love this simple soup.
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, saute garlic, onions, celery and carrots in oil until onions are translucent. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add turkey and rice and heat through before serving, 15 minutes or so.
Jess from Portland, OR
Start that Turkey Soup after dinner. Strip all of the good meat off the bones and put the meat away in the refrigerator. Take all the leftover bones and skin and bits of meat that are too hard to pull off put them in a large pot with COLD water.
Use every bit of your turkey with this flexible recipe that uses the carcass and the neck. You can also add any leftover gravy and vegetables. This Thanksgiving I had no gravy or leftover vegetables since my gang ate it all up!
Might be a little early for this one, but Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, along with it, lots of left-overs!
This delicious soup is a perfect way to warm up on a chilly day. It is also a good way to use any leftover turkey after the holidays.
Cook onion, carrot and celery in hot oil in large saucepan 3 to 5 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken broth, water and dressing mix. Bring to boil. Add turkey and pasta; cover.
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The holiday bird always left me with plenty of leftover broth. I use the dixie drink cups, little kid size, to save it in smaller batches. I fill the cups, cover and sit them on a cookie sheet in the freezer till frozen. Then I rip away the cup and put them in a big ziplock bag. I now have half cup cones to add to potatoes or noodles, etc.