11.28.2005

Gobble Gobble - ya big turkey!


Another Thanksgiving here and gone…it’s a deep mixture of regret and relief.

This year I baked a 22 pound bird. Brined him ala Brown - he came out a beautiful rich brown with succulent moist meat. I would show you a picture – but as I left the kitchen for a few minutes to take a break, the crew descended upon the hapless bird and started eating the sizzling hot skin off of the legs and breast. Tsk tsk..but I should know better with three men and a teenage girl drooling in anticipation seated in the next room, forks in hand.

This attack on the main dish by the primitives did not stop me from serving up 10 pounds of mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, glazed carrots, oyster dressing, cranberry relish plus the ever present pumpkin pie. I did not do sweet potatoes this year due to a limit on the oven space – the turkey was an oven hog. I don’t think the gang minded much - at least I took all the grunting and snuffling to mean that I had been forgiven.

I have been choosing to make oyster dressing for the last couple of years as it was always a tradition when I was growing up. My parents would make a pilgrimage up to Dick’s Fish Market on South 3rd St. and get a quart of oysters. A few of the shellfish would be reserved for oyster soup – what was basically oysters cooked briefly in milk and butter with lots of pepper. Then, you would crumble crackers in the broth and eat.

My only problem with my mom’s dressing (or stuffing, in this case, as she always stuffed her birds) is that she would never really pick through her oysters and you would get this grit in the middle of the a bite of moist, bready goodness.

So now that the gang has eaten their fill of turkey, taken home copious amounts of leftovers I can now disassembled the turkey and start on my favorite leftover dish of all time – Turkey Potato Soup!

Here is where a little planning pays off - on Thursday, when I am prepping the onions and celery for the dressing, I cut up about 6 extra stalks of celery and two extra onions. I toss those into the fridge in preparation for the soup. All I have to do on Sunday is boil the carcass down for broth and have the hubby peel 5 pounds of potatoes. Thoughtfully, I station him in the kitchen so he has a line of site on the television and all his glorious football carnage.

Rosie’s Turkey Potato Soup

10 - 12 cups of turkey carcass broth (plus any leftover gravy)

1 stick of butter

6 stalks of celery, medium dice

2 medium onions, small dice

5 pounds of russet potatoes, large dice

1 large carrot, grated

1 to 1 ½ cups of mashed potatoes

Seasoned Salt, Pepper to taste

Pinch of Cayenne

A box of chocolates (This does not go in the soup but in the cook. I think this may be the most important ingredient of all.)

Melt the stick of butter in a heavy bottomed stock pot and sauté the onions and celery until the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes and sauté them briefly in the butter. (I have no idea why, but this is how Mom taught me and that is how it’s done!) Add the broth and bring back to a simmer. Test the broth for salt, caeynne and pepper and add as needed. (Because so much of the ingredients are already pre-seasoned, you need to taste this frequently to make sure that everything is as it should be.) When the potatoes are about half done, add in the grated carrot.

Once the potatoes are fork tender, dip out a couple cups of broth into a deep bowl or a 2 quart measuring cup. Add the mashed potatoes to the broth and take it to task you’re your stick blender until all the lumps are gone. Add back to the soup. (Because the potatoes already have cream and butter in them, I do not add any additional cream or milk. If the soup seems thick, then thin with any extra broth or some milk.)

Serve with a tasty turkey sandwich – if you have any turkey left – but this is a fairly hearty soup and would be good with just a nice salad.

A word to the wise: I usually brine my turkey – so there is some salt in the broth. There is salt in the mashed potatoes. Unless you really, really love salt (and there are those of you who do), take care when seasoning this dish.

2 comments:

Carrie said...

This soup looks absolutely fabulous. Can't wait to make it with a few changes (as I have already made the turkey broth)...but, never fear, I will make it as instructed the next time I make a turkey. By the way, I love your blog site...just came upon it after googling turkey potato soup...you were number two. So far, love what I have seen.

Carrie

Rosie said...

Thanks Carrie! It an old fashioned kinda soup - but just right for really cold winter nights.

If you don't have left over mashed potatoes, my mom used to peel twice as many spuds and remove some once they were cooked soft. Then she would mash them with a manual masher and return those to the pot to add starch. In addition, she would add a cup of half and half (or milk) to make it creamy.

I've made it with chicken stock too - but my family likes the turkey version better.