Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Giving Thanks for After-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup and Stoupor

Jaime turned us on to this wonderful (if artery-clogging) soup a few holidays ago. We've never looked back! I add a few cranberries to brighten the soup up a little.

1 leftover turkey carcass
3 medium onions, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 cup butter, cubed
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
3/4 teaspoon pepper

Place turkey carcass in a soup kettle or Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove carcass; cool. Set aside 3 qt. broth. Remove turkey from bones and cut into bite-size pieces; set aside.
In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, saute the onions, carrots and celery in butter until tender. Reduce heat; stir in flour until blended. Gradually add 1 qt. of reserved broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Add cream, rice, salt, bouillon, pepper, remaining broth and reserved turkey. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender.

Unlike the wonderful soup, made three days after the actual day, the actual Thanksgiving feast was somewhat muted this year. It was the first Thanksgiving without Collie, signalling the coming change from intergenerational holidays to a less inclusive time, with primarily older adults and dogs. Jaime, Jared & Cici represented the younger generation. The festivities were held at Arthur's - and on the chilly day, the roaring fireplace was most appreciated. Molly enjoyed the leather sofa. I enjoyed making some interesting butternut squash and brussels sprouts dishes, along with the famous chipotle mashed sweet potatoes and marsala cranberry sauce.

On Saturday, I tried my hand at butterflying my organic, free range turkey. I saw a little instructional video on-line and thought it would be fun. It's a good thing Jim was not there with the digital camera! I also read "Cooks Illustrated" and was convinced by their discussion of slow roasting of turkeys. Once I'd wrestled the bird into some sort of submission (minus its backbone and few of my finger tips which went into the stock) and buttered and herbed underneath its skin, into the oven it went for a long, slow heat bath. To my surprise after the wrestling match, it turned out wonderfully. I'm definitely convinced on the slow roasting. The butterflying - maybe not so much. Jim made his famous trademark mashed potatoes, and a second coming of Thanksgiving feast was enjoyed by all.

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