November 24, 2005

SAVE THE BONES!

One of the best parts about a turkey (especially a smoked turkey - but oven roasted will do) is the fantastic soup stock you can make with the left over bones and carcass. The hardwood smoke adds a depth of flavor that’s a spectacular compliment to big, savory dishes such as the Cajun favorite: Gumbo. The following recipes were developed over several years and scores of turkeys. We hope you’ll enjoy sharing it at your table too.

Turkey Bone Stock


1 Turkey Carcass, neck, wings, leg bones, etc.
3 ribs celery, cut into 2” pieces
2 medium onions, quartered
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut in 2” pieces
4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled & smashed
4 quarts cold water (or enough to cover the carcass)
2 tsp salt
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup malt vinegar
1 Tbs black peppercorns
4 bay leaves

1. Place the carcass in a large stockpot. Add the celery, carrots, onions, garlic, water, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorns & bay leaves.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours or so. Remove from the heat. Skim any fat that has risen to the surface.
3. Strain through a large fine-mesh sieve. Reserve any meat that has fallen off the bones and pick off any meat that may still remain. Puree ½ the reserved onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a blender or food processor. Use just enough stock for the blades to work easily.
4. Use right away or freeze in quart containers
Makes about 2 quarts

For the Gumbo


½ cup peanut oil
¼ cup butter
¾ cup flour (unbleached)
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 cup chopped celery
½ teaspoon ground cayenne
1 pound smoked sausage: andouille or kielbasa, chopped
2 qts Turkey broth (for a milder smoke flavor, use 50% chicken stock)
Reserved turkey meat from broth
Vegetable puree from reserved onions, celery, carrots from broth
2 Tbs chopped parsley
2 Tbs chopped green onions

1. Like most good Cajun cooking, first you make a roux! Melt the oil & butter then add the flour in a large cast-iron pot or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven over medium to medium-low heat (if you have neither of the above, use the heaviest bottomed stockpot you have). Stirring slowly and constantly with a wire whisk or wooden spoon for 20-25 minutes (don’t turn up the heat or get bored and let the flour burn!) make a dark brown roux, about the color of chocolate. (Be very careful, it’s EXTREMELY HOT at this stage).
2. Season the onions, peppers, celery w/ salt, pepper & cayenne. Add this to the roux and stir until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey broth and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Stir in the reserved turkey meat and the vegetable puree’. Cook for another 15 minutes or so, reducing the heat to low.
3. Serve in soup bowls with a scoop of steamed rice. Have the freshly chopped parsley and green onions to pass at the table as topping along with a couple of your favorite hot sauces. Filé powder can be added at the table according to personal taste.
NOTE: If you’re really feeling festive, thaw and peel a pound of raw shrimp (31-40 size) and add them along with turkey & puree at 15 minutes to go.
About 10-12 servings

Posted by John Resnick at November 24, 2005 8:43 PM
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