Nov 25 2010

What’s Cooking: Don’t Throw That Turkey Carcass Out

(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

I know by tonight you will be sick if looking at the remnants of dinner, especially that turkey carcass because you aren’t done with it yet. I’m going to walk you through making turkey stock.

First you will need a big pot, I mean big like the one you use to cook spaghetti big, at least big enough to hold the turkey carcass and cover it wiht water. Mmmm, say about 8 quarts big. I know you have one somewhere.

Next your going to peel an onion, slicing off the top but leaving the stem part intact. Cut it in half through the stem. Gather some whole carrots and a few celery stalks (don’t cut off the leaves that’s where the most flavor is). Peel some garlic, as much as you’d like (we like a lot) but at least two cloves, leaving it whole. Take some of the herbs that you used to season the turkey with and three or four bay leaves and set it aside in a bowl for a minute.

Now, put the turkey in the empty pot to make sure it fits. If it doesn’t you have a couple of  choices the easiest of which is to cut the carcass into sections so it fits into the pot you have. Now that it fits, put it on the stove and fill it with cold water using a pitcher (this gets heavy that’s why you’re dong it this way), covering the turkey . Add all the veggies, cover and bring to a full boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 3 or 4 hours, stirring occasionally and scraping the loose meat off the bones.

With most of the meat off the bones, remove the bones with a large slotted spoon or scoop and discard the bones. If it ‘s cold enough out side where you are, put the pot outside to cool. If it’s cold enough the fat which will float to the top will solidify and can be easily removed with a spatula.

Now strain the stock through a sieve or cheese cloth. Discard all those vegetables, the flavor is now all in the stock. Add new vegetables; chopped carrots, cubed potatoes, thinly sliced celery, soup greens such as kale, collards, chopped savoy cabbage or escarole, sliced onions, fresh herbs, and last but not least, pasta.

If you have a lot of stock, it can be frozen. I save the pint and quart plastic containers from the Chinese take out. They are also useful to put chicken and meat bones so my talented cats can’t get into them.  Bones are not good for kitties.

The stock is also great for making Risotto with Wild Mushrooms. You’ll need

* about 8 cups of stock. If you don’t have enough turkey from your stock, College Inn makes a very good Turkey broth but it won’t be as good as yours.

* 2 cups of Risotto or Arborio Rice

* about 3 tbsp of Olive Oil

* 3 tablespoons of butter, unsalted

* 1 pound of fresh wild mushrooms such as portobella, crimini (baby portabella) or shiitake. I like shiitake best but usually use half and half. The mushrooms should be cleaned with a soft paper towel or soft brush. I have a soft brush just for mushrooms. I also hae a truffle slicer. 😉

* 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped, or 1 tbsp dried

* 2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley, the other parsley, curly, is very rarely used in cooking. Its mostly a garnish.

* 2 large shallots chopped or a small onion

* 2 cloves of garlic, chopped.

* 1/2 cup dry white wine, something you would drink with the risotto.

* 2 tablespoons of fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the broth in a sauce pan and keep it warm over low heat.

Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and add the garlic. Fry until it just begins to color, then add the mushrooms and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons butter in a separate skillet. Soften the shallots in the butter. Add the rice and saute for a couple of minutes, stirring, so the rice becomes coated with the butter. Add the wine and bring to a boil. When it has evaporated, add one-half cup of the hot chicken stock.

Keep adding the hot broth, one-half cup at a time, to the rice. Continue until the rice has absorbed nearly all the liquid. The rice is done when it is creamy, but al dente.

Stir in the remaining butter, the mushrooms and the Parmigiano Reggiano. Mix gently, garnish with a few leaves of tarragon and serve.

Bon Appetit!

1 comment

  1. TMC

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