Hiiiii guys. So it has been awhile. I have quickly discovered that “working from home” becomes pretty much impossible with 2 kiddos, particularly when those 2 kiddos are a rambunctious 3 year old and a 5 month old who never sleeps. They sure are cute though. Running the house, a business, and chasing the kids has taken my time management skills to a whole new level. I have been sad, however, that I missed all of October to blog about lots of Fall recipes. I am a sucker for soups, stews, chilis, hot bread, and everything pumpkin. Oh, and sleep…but….yeah.
Fortunately my favorite season of the year is not over yet, and Thanksgiving is approaching! I’m sure you have seen tons of mouth-watering Thanksgiving recipes all around the internet. But what to do with all those leftovers? I feel it’s just a down right sin to let any of that tasty turkey go to waste, yet many years I find myself kinda stuck on what to do with it other than reheating it (mainly because I’m just downright pooped). So I decided to try an experiment with a turkey my husband tried out in his new oil-less fryer this week. Which, came out delicious by the way…and if you haven’t tried an oil-less fryer, it is a much safer way of getting a deliciously moist, fried turkey on the table. Anyways, I decided to create my own Turkey-Frame soup recipe because A) soup really sounded good with the rainy, cold weather and B) I was too darn tired to debone the carcass and throwing it all in a pot until the meat just fell off was very satisfying.
Throwing a whole leftover carcass in a pot of boiling water for 1 1/2 hours with some vegetables is gaining popularity these days. If you google “bone broth,” tons of health benefits pop up. Now while there is no scientific evidence that it is the soup fountain of youth or that it cures arthritis, or that it will “banish your cellulite,” it is definitely is packed with minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, and other healthful compounds from the bones such as collagen and amino acids that can’t hurt you. And, you are probably not getting those kind of nutrients from a can of Campbell’s or a couple of preservative-laden bouillon cubes. Besides, it is deliciously comforting and tastes miles better (sorry Campbell’s).
If you’re looking for an EASY and nourishing way to get the most out of your leftovers, give this a try. It was a big hit with my family.
Turkey Frame Soup
A deliciously nourishing and lazy way to use up all that leftover turkey. Let that meat just fall off the bone!
- 1 Whole leftover cooked turkey (bones and all)
- 5 cups Water
- 2 14.5 oz cans Low sodium chicken broth
- 1 large Yellow onion, quartered
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 5 carrots, chopped
- 1 cup Broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
- 1 14.5 oz can No added salt diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 cups Garden Rotini noodles
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Throw your turkey carcass in a large stock pot. Add water, chicken broth, onion, celery, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, for 1 1/2 hours, covered.
Remove bones from broth, and cut meat into bite-sized pieces on a cutting board. If it is easier, you can strain the broth to remove pieces of skin and gristle. The meat was so tender for me it mostly fell into small pieces, and I was able to easily scoop out the skin and other non-edible parts.
Add back chopped meat, and add remaining vegetables, canned tomatoes, and seasonings. Allow to continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes
Add garden Rotini noodles, and cook until they are done. Serve with some warm rolls, corn bread, or whole grain crackers. It also freezes well for later!
Sometimes when you are recovering from a turkey-induced coma, throwing it all in a pot the next day is the way to go. It makes a big batch (depending on how much meat you had left on the turkey) so it is a super manageable way to feed a bunch of relatives that stay over the next day. Minimal clean up too!
What is your favorite way to use turkey leftovers? I’d love to hear your traditions!
Until next time (or when my kids take a simultaneously nap again someday…)