The Remains of the Day

Let’s talk about those leftovers that by now you are sick of eating. Remembe I told you not to toss that turkey carcass? That’s because it becomes the base for not only soups but the base for risotto and other dishes. So, we’ll start with getting that carcass out of the frig and into a pot. This is really easy.

Turkey Stock

1 turkey carcass, plus the neck if you kept it

6 quarts water (more if needed)

3 or 4 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 or 4 stalks celery, sliced

2 leeks, trimmed, cleaned, and sliced (optional)

1/2 head garlic, cut in half across the middle

2 bay leaves

6 sprigs parsley

4 sprigs thyme

12 peppercorns

1 teaspoon salt

1. Rinse the turkey, making sure to wash away any stuffing that may be sticking to the walls of the cavity. Break apart if necessary, so the wing bones and thigh bones are detached. Place in a large stockpot, and add the water. It should cover the carcass.

2. Place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. The bubbles should just break gently on the surface. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Cover partially, turn the heat to very low and simmer two hours, skimming as necessary. Add the remaining ingredients, and simmer for another four hours, partially covered. Keep your eye on the pot, and skim as necessary.

3. Before draining such a big pot of stock, I find it easiest to remove the carcass and bones using tongs. Gently strain the soup through a strainer, colander or conical chinois into a very large bowl. Line a strainer with cheesecloth, and strain once again. Place in the refrigerator, uncovered, and chill. Lift off any fat that has congealed on the top, and discard. Keep in the refrigerator, or freeze in small containers.

Yield: Makes about 5 quarts.

Now for some recipes that use that delicious stock.

Turkey and Wild Rice Salad

This recipe uses about 3 and a half cups of stock to make the wild rice that adds a nutty favor to this warm salad.

Turkey French Dip

Use sliced turkey for the beef and thin left over gravy with the stock to thin it for dipping.

Risotto With Turkey, Mushrooms and Peas

Substitute about 5 cups of hot turkey stock to make this creamy arborio rice risotto.

Turkey (or Chicken) Soup With Lemon and Rice

This soup has a Middle Eastern flavor and can be made with just vegetables and rice.

Bon app├ętit