It always happens…the day after Thanksgiving you are blessed with what appears to be enough left-over turkey and side dishes to host another entire meal. We all have our special Turkey left-over recipes, but once you’ve used up most of the turkey what do you do with the left-over carcass?
Well, we’ve got you covered.
I made this turkey carcass soup a few years ago for farmer Den’s father and he LOVED it. Sadly, he is no longer with us to enjoy this left-over delicacy, but in his honor, we are sharing this recipe so other dads may enjoy it for years to come.
This recipe came about because we didn’t want anything to go to waste after Thanksgiving. Visions of people tossing food into the garbage are enough to drive me crazy, especially when I think of my own parents who lived during the tail end of the Great Depression. They didn’t have much and they made everything count.
The great thing about using a turkey carcass for this recipe is that it is already bursting with flavor. If you cook the stuffing in the bird, all that great flavor is transferred to the soup. This recipe also allows you to use up some of those left-over vegetables.
You’ll need to cut up the turkey carcass so it will fit in a large Dutch oven. Cover the turkey with water (about 8 cups), add a little poultry seasoning and one or two bay leaves. Bring to a boil and let simmer for a couple of hours until the meat falls of the bone and the bones begin to fall apart.
Let cool, then remove the turkey carcass and bay leaves from the broth. If there are still pieces of the turkey bones in the broth, you may need to strain the broth through cheese cloth.
When cool enough to handle, cut any remaining turkey from the bones. Discard the bones and the bay leaves. You’ll want about 2 cups of chopped turkey meat, so save some of the left-over meat for the soup.
At this point you can refrigerate your broth for a few days or freeze it for a few months or you can make your soup right away…up to you.
Take your turkey broth and add chopped onions, celery and a tablespoon of chicken bouillon. I also add a little marjoram and thyme. Bring to a boil and let simmer for a good half hour.
Add any left-over carrots, corn, peas, green beans, etc. that were steam cooked for Thanksgiving. Add additional fresh or frozen vegetables as needed. Add in about 2 cups of cut up left-over turkey. Let this simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of long grain or wild rice. Cook for 20 minutes and enjoy.
The great thing about Thanksgiving is that it brings the family together over a wonderful meal. This soup is a light and tasty way to continue the warm feeling. You can freeze the left-over soup and share it with your family.
- 1 left over turkey carcass
- 8 cups water
- 1 large onion
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 tbs instand chicken bouillon
- 1½ tsp dried herbs (I like marjoram and thyme, but use what you like)
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 2 cups of vegetables such as carrots, peas, corn
- 1 cup long grain rice
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cut up turkey frame to fit in large dutch oven or kettle.
- Add 8 cups water, bay leaves and half the onion.
- Bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 1 - 2 hours or until meat falls of bone.
- Remove turkey frame, when cool enough to handle, cut off any meat left on bones. Add to left over turkey to make 2 cups.
- Strain broth using cheese cloth.
- Discard bay leaves and bones.
- Return broth to Dutch oven, add bouillon, herbs, salt and pepper.
- Add remaining onion and celery.
- Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes
- Add in vegetables and the cut up turkey and let simmer 5 minutes
- Add in rice and let simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is done.