Don’t Waste the Turkey

Whole turkeys are quite cheap during the holidays and one turkey can provide a lot of meals. If you can afford it, buy two and freeze one to roast later. You can easily get sick of turkey sandwiches, but leftover turkey can be used in many recipes. Turkey pot pie is a delicious change as well as turkey enchiladas. You can also freeze some of it. Whatever you do, don’t throw away the carcass. One big turkey makes a lot of stock, and is delicious in soup, or as a substitute for chicken broth. If you don’t have time to cook it right away, you can always freeze it.

To cook the carcass, put it in a large pot, breaking into smaller pieces if necessary, and cover with water. Add unused giblets except for the liver, quartered onion, a couple of chopped carrots, celery, a bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for three or four hours. When done, remove any meat from the bone, return it to the pot, and then discard the bones and vegetables. You should have several quarts of stock which you can freeze for later use.

If you like turkey soup, try this recipe. Remove one of the containers of stock from the freezer and thaw in the refrigerator for two or three days. Heat it up in a pot, add some onion, carrot, salt, peppercorns and sage to taste. If you like, add some rosemary and thyme as well. Now, add tortellini or egg noodles and cook as directed. When the pasta is almost done, stir in a cup of frozen peas. The aroma is wonderful and the taste is heavenly.