I've been cooking one thing or another for days. The nice folks at The Brooklyn Kitchen looked at me like I was nuts when I dropped in the day after Thanksgiving to buy a new pastry bag and explained I was baking cakes.
"Don't you have left-over pie?!" they asked.
I just shrugged and nodded and shuffled wearily off with my pastry bag. I had to get to the grocery store to buy oranges and cream cheese. I had cakes to make.
But back to the soup. After we've had our fill of turkey sandwiches we know it's time to strip the carcass and start the soup. To do this I enlist Jack to carve whatever meat is left off the bird. Then I take over and get my hands dirty-- literally-- as I pull as much meat from the bones as I can while discarding the skin. The meat goes into a ziplock bag and then into the freezer to be used for Turkey Chilaquiles later. Once the bones are pretty well stripped, or when I get tired, I prepare a base for turkey soup.
I place the turkey bones and carcass into my slow cooker along with some roughly chopped carrots, celery, onion, garlic and a few bay leaves. I add a small amount of salt, some poultry seasoning and whatever amount of broth is left from cooking the giblets, and then add enough water to cover the bones and vegetables. In the highly unlike event that I have any gravy left I add that too.
The slow cooker gets set on high until the liquid begins to simmer. Then I turn it down to low and leave it alone. This process usually gets started on a Saturday morning and I leave the soup cooking on low in the slow cooker until late afternoon when I remove as much of the meat from the bones as possible. To do this, place a colander into a large bowl and strain the soup. Lift the colander out and transfer the contents to a bowl, allowing them to cool until you can handle them without burning your fingers. Pour the broth back into the slow cooker, set on low.
Pull the meat from the bones, cutting it into small pieces where necessary, and place into a bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate until you're ready to assemble the soup.
Add the larger bones back to the broth in the slow cooker, discarding the small bones and vegetables. Leave the broth and bones to cook on low overnight.
Sunday morning place a colander lined with cheesecloth into a large bowl and strain the broth. Discard the bones and allow the broth to cool a little--then place the bowl in the refrigerator and leave it until all of the fat has solidified at the top. Remove the fat and transfer half of the broth to a container and put it in the freezer to use later. Put the other half of the broth back into the refrigerator.
Assembling the Soup
about an hour and a half
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Reserved turkey broth and meat
8 oz. fusilli (half a box)
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot and saute the carrots, celery and onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute or so. Add the reserved turkey broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are starting to get tender-- about 50 minutes. Add the reserved turkey meat and bring back to a boil. Add the fusilli and simmer until the pasta is al dente.
Consider taking a photo and then lean listlessly back in chair.