One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers. In my family, hot turkey sandwiches are a staple. They are probably one of my favorite all time foods, and just ask my husband how sad I was when I discovered the Cheesecake Factory took them off their menu (although it was probably good for my waist, since they can’t be good for you). It’s hard to find a good one these days, and I’ve been known to make the 2 hour-ish drive to Reins Deli in Vernon, CT. Not only do they make a fabulous hot turkey sandwich, they make some of the best pickles and milkshakes I’ve ever had.
Anyway, one of my other favorite leftover feasts is to make Turkey Rice Soup. My grandmother would make it every year, the day after Thanksgiving. We’d go to her house, go see Santa ride into town, and then eat Turkey Rice Soup. So no wonder I still love it. I don’t have any amazing recipe for it, just make like you’re making chicken soup, but it’s got leftover turkey instead! The secret is in the stock.
1 turkey carcass (all the flavor is in the bones, so keep that sucker!)
head of garlic
palmful of peppercorns
herbs of your choosing (I used thyme and dill)
bay leaf (I happened to forget to use it in my stock)
Combine all ingredients in the largest stock pot you have (I happened to use my lobster pot). If you need to cut up carcass, that’s no problem, just as long as it fits in there. Rough chop your veggies and throw them in as well. Throw in your herbs (I used a lot, for lots of flavor, you can decide what you want), bay leaf, pepper, and salt. Fill your pot with water, until it covers most of the veggies and all of the carcass. Put on the stove and bring to a simmer, and then continue to simmer for hours, the longer the better.
I happened to put mine on the stove, and then drove to CT to buy my Christmas tree, while my husband stayed home and watched the stock. I would say it was on the stove for about 7 hours. Again, the longer, the better, as that will make it so flavorful. You can make the stock the day or so before you’re going to use it, or you can store in tupperware and freeze until you need it. I used it all in my soup.
It might look gross, but that’s ok, because you’re going to strain everything out of it. I didn’t have nearly enough turkey for my soup, but it was filled with veggies and rice, and no one really seemed to care, since my stock was freaking delicious this year.