Post Thanksgiving Supper

The leftovers have been eaten. Turkey sandwiches, cranberry cobbler, potato pancakes- how did YOU enjoy the days after the Thanksgiving feast? I would love to hear about your creative leftover meals.

Now that you have scraped every last bit of meat off of the turkey carcass, is the meal over? Not in my house. I was raised by a mother who rarely wasted anything. Although I have been guilty of having to throw out uneaten produce every now and then, my culinary school training and philosophy of eating urges me to waste nothing, use everything I can. As we headed back home from the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, there was one more thing tucked into my bag. A turkey carcass!
For some of you, you may have had your fill, but for me, it means making turkey broth for soup.

Turkey broth is easy to make, requires few ingredients and can be left alone on the stove top to simmer for hours, yielding a delicious, golden rich liquid. You can freeze the broth in ice cube trays or plastic baggies and take out when you need it. Use for soups, risottos and deglazing the pan to make a rich sauce for sauteed meats.

Or, you can use the broth as a base for a savory soup. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the broth. You can keep it light or add egg noodles. For a richer, more decadent accompaniment, try these herbed dumplings. No waste here!


1 turkey carcass
3 whole carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 yellow onion {keep the skins on}
2 bay leaves

In a large pot, add the turkey carcass. If you have any turkey meat leftover you want to add, simply remove the skin and add to the pot. Fill the pot with cold water just enough to cover the carcass. Wash the carrot and celery and add to the pot. Cut the onion in half and add to the pot. Add the bay leaves. Place the pot over medium heat until the water comes to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for about 2-3 hours. The broth will become a golden yellow hue. Cool to room temperature.

Remove the carcass first. Separate the meat from the bones and reserve. Disgard the bones, skin and cartalige. Remove the onion, carrots, celery and bay leaves. Disgard the bay leaf and reserve the carrots, celery and onions. Strain the broth through cheese cloth to remove any fine bone pieces. Put the strained broth back into a clean pot. Cut the carrots into 1/4 inch pieces and add to strained broth. Chop the onions and 1/2 stalk of celery finely. {The onions and celery will be used in the dumplings}. Season the broth with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat and prepare the dumpling dough recipe, or refrigerate for up to three days until ready to serve.

Onions from broth
1 teaspoon dried sage
1-1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of shortening
3/4 cup of broth

In a large mixing bowl, add the reserved chopped onions and celery, sage, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir with a fork. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles fine cornmeal. Add the broth and mix, just until incorporated. Let sit for about 10-15 minutes, or keep refrigerated until ready to use for up to three days.

Spoon the dumpling dough mixture into the simmering broth. Leave space between the dumplings so they can cook evenly.
Cover the pot and let the dumplings steam until cooked, about 10-12 minutes. Gently remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon into bowls. Spoon the broth over the dumplings and serve warm.

Buon appetito!
copyright 2008 Alisa Barry

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