Thanksgiving is one week from today. Last year AJ and I learned how to grill the turkey and now I’m completely sold on grilling our Thanksgiving bird! It’s not only moist, tender and delicious, but the oven’s free for other baking! Isn’t that a beautiful bird?
Even though grilling is different than how I made the turkey previous years, I still use the turkey carcass to make a delicious stock to use to make delicious soup.
After the meal, I pick all the meat from the carcass and I get out my 20 quart stockpot. I put the turkey carcass in the pot and add enough water to cover. If the carcass is too big, I’ll have Mr. A help me break it in half, so it’s nice to have a big strong man around, just in case. I’ll add in an onion, coarsely chopped, a few stocks of celery sliced and about 10 cloves of garlic. I keep the onion and garlic skins, rinse them off and add them into the stock. They help to color the broth and make it darker.
I bring the water to a boil and then turn the burner down until it’s simmering lightly. Then I let the stock slowly cook overnight. Usually by morning, about 12 hours later, the turkey carcass is falling apart. If the weather has turned cold, I’ll put the stockpot on the dryer outside on the porch so it can begin to cool faster.
When the stock has cooled down enough, I strain it. I pick out the pieces of onions, celery and garlic cloves and put them into the blender with a few cups of the cooled stock. Then mix them back into the rest of the stock. It helps to thicken the broth just a little bit and adds more nutrition and flavor.
I freeze the stock, storing it in 2 cup increments. This is a great way to add wholesome goodness into your soups.
Just about any recipe that calls for water, you can use stock to add more nutrition. You can even use stock instead of water when making rice. Here’s one of my favorite soups:
Potato Zucchini Soup
4 cups turkey (or chicken or beef) stock
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Zucchini Squash, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 stock of celery, sliced
In a two quart pot add the tablespoon of butter. Heat until melted and bubbling. Add in the onion and celery and saute for about two minutes. Add the four cups of stock, then the potatoes and squash. Bring to a boil and lower heat until the liquid is boiling gently and steadily. Cook until the potatoes and squash are tender when you poke them with a fork which will be 10-15 minutes. If you really want comfort food, add a glop of sour cream, or a tablespoon of cream. You could hit the soup with your stick blender to make a smooth cream soup. Salt and pepper to taste! Delicious!