What do you do with that turkey carcass after the big feast? If you’re like me, you wrap it in a clean garbage bag and freeze it until you’re inspired to make Friday Turkey Soup.
This is what I did with my turkey carcass a few days ago.
I love having a 12-qt stockpot for times like these, when you need to fit a turkey carcas into a pot and cover it with water. Actually, I had my hubby break it in two pieces, but it would have fit intact, had I wanted it to. Really.
I added a peeled and quartered onion, a bag of baby carrots, a bay leaf, about 1/2 tsp. of peppercorns, sea salt, and a handful of parsley and thyme dug out from underneath the snow. I brought it to a boil and then simmered it for about 5 hours, until the stock was thicker and rich smelling, and the scraps of meat were falling off the bones.
At this point, I removed the big pieces to a bowl and strained the stock about 6 times into progressively finer strainers so that it was pretty clear, and then separated it into 3 smaller pots to cool and let the fat rise. Using a spoon, I strained off the fat and discarded it. Now I had stock.
I filled 3 ziptop freezer bags with 6 cups each of stock and lay them flat to freeze. This is a great freezing method for liquids because not only can you stack the bags easily in the freezer to save space, but the thin sheets thaw more quickly than solid blocks. I’ve already used one of them in my cabbage soup this week — recipe to come soon.
Then I put all of the turkey meat that came off the carcass back into the pot along with the carrots and onions, and ladled this “soup base” into 6-cup plastic food storage containers to freeze for later in the winter. Some cold and harried night, I’ll be able to toss this soup base into a pot to thaw, bring to a boil, and add noddles, corn, or cooked rice to make it more of a satisfying quick and easy meal. I could add a can of diced tomatoes, cut potatoes, and green chiles to make a turkey stew… The possibilities are endless.
I also froze a couple single-serving containers for a nourishing meal for the next cold or flu sufferer.
I’ve been looking into replacing all of my plastic container storage with Pyrex Storage and trying to figure out how
I’m going to store all the items I’ll need — I like to freeze a lot of soups when I’m in the mood to cook, so that we can still eat well even on the nights when I’m not in the mood to cook. Food storage containers rotate through my kitchen and freezer constantly.
Sigh. I’ve gotten so used to the conveniences offered by plastic that I’m feeling resistant to changing even though I know the dangers of using plastic food storage containers. I wish the plastic manufacturers were concerned enough to make their products so that they didn’t leak BPAs into the foods.