OK, here's the thing - as I was making this soup, I came to the realization that this particular recipe is high maintenance. There are many steps and in reality, it took me two days. But that's because I wasn't in a hurry. Seriously, how can you be in a hurry when your refrigerator is still full of leftovers?
I am a bit tired of turkey sandwiches, if you must know the truth. That comes from getting a ginormous bowl of leftover turkey from your dear friends with whom you celebrated the holiday, then cooking your own entire turkey the next day. God forbid we'd run out of turkey in the Karenpie house.
So let's get started - unless I've scared you away with ominous talk of two-day, high maintenance food. I promise it will be worth it. You should trust me - have I ever led you astray?
To begin, we're going to make turkey stock! Here's whatcha need to start -
2 carrots, peeled
2 stalks of celery
All cut in big chunks. No need to be fancy.
You also need a turkey carcass. We - and I use that word very, very loosely here - clean our turkey the night we eat it. It's easier to do when the meat is still a bit warm. Here is my helper -
He does really good work. I think I'll keep him around and see if his work ethic is just as high with dirty dishes.
Hi sweetie! Hey - over here. How come you're not looking at me, the love of your life? Why aren't you . . . .
Oh. Never mind. Carry on sweet kitchen helper - you're doing a fabulous job!
Turkey cleaning - my least favorite part of Thanksgiving. This year, because I'm an important food blogger, I got out of that particular job. Gotta take pictures you know. Can't get greasy turkey parts on my beloved Canon, right?
I'm assuming you cleaned your turkey before you stuck it in the freezer like I told you to. You guys are so obedient! Just one of the many reasons I love you so much!
Don't go crazy with cleaning your bird. The small bits of meat still clinging to the bones will NOT go to waste.
Here's another tip - as you can see, Duane broke the turkey and separated the breast from the back. It will fit in your pot more easily and you won't be using the back. Toss it. We like our turkey carcasses spineless. Reason? See those little ridges, or vertebrae, on the back, the darker part up there? As you cook them, the meat and anything holding the vertebrae together will fall apart. You are then left with a ton of little bones that will make your life HELL I mean make your job harder. I'll show you what I mean in a minute.
Here's something else you can toss - all those skinny, bonelike tendons on the drumsticks. Pull or cut them off. Trust me, you'll thank me when you're done cooking this baby and you have to dig all the bones out of the stock.
Put all the bones in a big - at least an 8 qt - stock pot.
Add the carrots, celery and onion and add enough water to cover it all. At this point I throw in other stuff that may be leftover from cooking Thanksgiving dinner, too. Canned broth, turkey drippings, fresh herbs like sage, rosemary or thyme - if any of these are hanging out in your fridge use them up!
Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat so it's simmering. Put a lid on it and let it go for several hours. Your house will smell like you're cooking a ginormous Thanksgiving dinner again! Beautiful. While it's cooking, you have time to make another pumpkin pie. It's the right thing to do. I'm pretty sure it's what Barefoot Contessa (my heroine!) would do.
The stock is done when you dig around in your stockpot and come up with absolutely clean bones - the meat has completely fallen off of them. I usually start cooking my stock at night and let it go all night. If it's at a low simmer with the lid on it will be fine. You'll occasionally wake up and wonder, groggily, why the house smells so strongly of cooking turkey. Then you'll go back to sleep and dream of turkey.
In the morning, take the pot off the heat and let it cool enough so you can handle it. Ready to play with your food?
See how much it's cooked down? Now you get to dig all the bones out.
Remove them and discard.
Remember when I told you to throw the back away? Well, the same goes for the neck. Unfortunately, I didn't take my own advice. There is always so much meat on the neck, I hate to waste it - and I paid for it, man. It took FOR. EV. ER. to dig all the tiny little vertebrae out.
And to dig little, tiny, sharp tendons out too.
It helps to have a big, slotted spoon like this one.
That way you can dig out the solids, and, with your freakishly weird mutant hand, feel for bones.
When you're absolutely sure you've removed all the bones, get up close and personal with the stock. You'll find more. Unless you've used your brain and thrown away the offending turkey parts that could cause you to LOSE YOUR MIND.
No, I'm not bitter. Why do you ask?
Now for the fun part. We're going to puree this stock! You'll need a blender, food processor or my personal favorite - a stick blender. I got this one for under $15. The beauty of using this is you don't have to take anything out of the stockpot to process, it works right in the pot you have! But no worries, if you don't have one of these babies, start taking all the solids out of the stock and putting them in a blender or food processor. You'll need a bit of the liquid too.
Once everything is smooth, return it to the pot and refrigerate. I do this so I can skim off any fat. It's much easier to do that when the fat has chilled and solidified.
You ready to finish this baby? Let's go.
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
3 T. vinegar
3 T. soy sauce
2 t. prepared mustard
2 t. sugar
salt and pepper to taste
16 oz. package of frozen veggies, your choice
Leftovers: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, yes I'm serious.
In this 8 qt. stock pot, I have around 6 qt. of the pureed stock. It is now soup! Sometimes I have less, depending on how much the stock cooks down and evaporates. Because of that, you may have to adjust the seasonings a bit, if you have a smaller quantity. Does that make sense? Are you still with me? Don't quit now! This is the easy part! Easy being relative. Quite frankly, Subway is easier. So is Taco Bell. But I digress.
Heat up the thick, yummy soup.
Start adding everything. I had around 5 c. of small turkey pieces I threw in.
And around 4 c. of leftover mashed potatoes. These will thicken the soup up nicely. They also have the added advantage of evening out the seasonings if you've made it too salty.
So, whip up some biscuits to go alongside and be a hero! And can I tell you a secret? I made up the recipe. It's the only recipe I've ever invented in my life. And now you have it - a Karenpie original.
I expect Barefoot Contessa to call me any day. We're going to be best friends - she just doesn't know it yet.
(Click here for printable)