It seems impossible that it is December 1st already. It feels like Thanksgiving was just YESTERDAY! Really, it does. I have the leftover turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce to prove it (you notice I didn’t mention any pies…).
Thanksgiving was a good day. I ran my first 5K! Just under 30 minutes, at 29:39. Not bad for an old chick with chronic tendonitis thanks to thirty years of volleyball. It felt good to do it, and even better to FINISH. It was a fun and festive way to start the day. I can check that off the list of Things I’d Like To Try Someday.
My big plans to host Thanksgiving went out the window on Wednesday a.m. when we realized our propane tank was down to almost zero. A quick call to the supplier and we learned the earliest we could get a delivery would be the following week. “But we’re supposed to cook a turkey!” we cried. “You, and everybody else,” they replied unsympathetically. Ah well, the bright side quickly became evident — we wouldn’t have to clean the house!! Yippee! My mom happily agreed to allow us to relocate everything to her house, and all went splendidly.
Now, a week later, and we are still eating leftovers, especially turkey. We’ve had turkey sandwiches, entire repeats of Thanksgiving dinner, and an awesome turkey salad I made with dried cranberries, cucumber, and cashews. And still there is more turkey to eat. There is only one thing left to do — make soup.
Did all that turkey come from one bird? Yes. I am a big fan of stewing the leftover chicken or turkey carcass to get every bit of meat from it. If I believed in reincarnation, I would guess I was some sort of a Pioneer woman in a past life, for this gives me great satisfaction. A leftover roast turkey, to me, is literally a meal ticket to many future meals.
For this particular bird, which started as a 20-pounder, I took the whole carcass, minus any leftover stuffing, and put it in my crockpot. I added about 8 cups of water and let it stew, covered, until the carcass was malleable, and the meat was coming off the bone. Next, I separated the broth from the rest by pouring it all through a colander set inside a large bowl. The broth went into the fridge. Once the meat had cooled off a bit, I picked through it all, pulling out about 10 cups of light and dark meat. I let the broth stay in the fridge overnight so that the fat would rise to the top and solidify, making it easy to skim it off the top of the broth.
A few days later, and a rich, hearty turkey vegetable soup was simmering on the stove. I love my soups thick and chunky, so they fill me up. Here’s how I made it…
Turkey Vegetable Soup
8 cups turkey or chicken broth
2 c. turkey, coarsely chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 – 15 ounce can of sweet corn, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
Salt & pepper to taste
1) Heat broth in large soup pot over medium heat.
2) Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat with pan spray, then add butter. Once butter is melted, saute’ the carrots and celery until softened.
3) Add carrots, celery, chicken, corn and rice to soup pot. Bring to boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.