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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Don't Toss That Turkey Carcass!

It would be a sacrilege to toss the turkey carcass without getting as much as possible from your investment. This year we bought an intensively raised, grass grazed, free range designer turkey, so we really wanted to get our money's worth. That turkey cost as much as the budget for a small town!
 After Thanksgiving dinner, we had Friday leftovers: sliced turkey for sandwiches and all the stuffing, rice, mashed potatoes, green beans, roasted butternut squash, beet and arugula salad and gravy we wanted to eat.

But there was still meat left on that turkey carcass. This is a stock photo, but you get the idea.

So I found a cooking show to watch while I dismembered the turkey. I broke the thighs and wings off the bird, picked the bones clean, flipped it over and over, scouring that lovely bird for all it would offer.

There was much more dark than light meat, and I used quart freezer bags to save 2 cup servings of all my pickin's.

 Into small snack bags went skin and other yucky stuff (no bones) to add to Ms. Pearl's dinner: not so much that she has a digestive upset, just a little yum to add to her senior dog food.

Here's what I got:

But we weren't done. The carcass, complete with the stuff I had used in the turkey's cavity for Thanksgiving roasting, apples, onions, tangerines and rosemary sprigs, went into the stock pot for a leisurely slow boil lasting about an hour and a half. Since I had brined the turkey, I didn't add any salt.  After I removed the carcass from the broth, I strained it and picked more meat from the rescued bones.

From the stock, daughter M made some Turkey Barley Soup. She added extra mushrooms and because we ran out of celery and are not near a store, sliced some chard ribs into the soup and added some celery seed. The leftover white meat and some of the dark meat I had gleaned after the simmer went into the soup toward the end of the cooking time.

The rest of the meat is in the freezer now, waiting for its reappearance. 

For your inspiration, here are a few recipes that use either leftover turkey or cooked chicken. Cooked turkey and chicken are interchangeable at our place.

White Chicken Posole (Skip browning the chicken and add your turkey toward the end of the cooking time)


1 comment:

  1. Best be careful, there are more "free range turkeys" in New Mexico than most anywhere else. And not all of them have feathers. Know what I mean?


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