Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Upsides to the Down Economy/ Turkey Every Which Way

   It's the week after Thanksgiving and you know what that means! Turkey every which way. While of course there is nothing wrong with the standard turkey sandwich (on a soft roll with Miracle Whip, turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce), with a twenty pound turkey there are more leftovers than one knows what to do with.
   These are two recipes I have used over the years which are always a hit with the family. They are from the Fannie Farmer cookbook, whose recipes I enjoy for their simple goodness. These are recipes I imagine a farmer's wife cooking after a hard day's work. The turkey soup gets an added bonus from any stuffing that is clinging to the carcass, and I throw any leftover stuffing in as well, towards the end of cooking. This a kind of a labor-intensive recipe because when you heat up the leftover turkey and let it cook for hours, it falls apart and there are all kind of turkey bones and strange bits that end up in it, but there is really no getting around it. After I cook it, I drain the stock from the meat and bones,separate the bones and let them cool and then pick the meat off and discard the bones. Although it says to add any little bits of leftover turkey to the pot, I feel this isn't necessary, since there is a ton of meat that comes from the carcass alone. After the stock cools, scoop off the fat and add the turkey meat back in, with some egg noodles and heat up.
   I decided to go all out with the leftovers and chopped up some romaine lettuce and made a dressing out of the juice from the cranberries and olive oil. I mixed the drained leftover cranberries into the salad, with chopped walnuts and blue cheese and it was a yummy complement to the hearty turkey soup. With the turkey tetrazzini, I have made a note to double the recipe of Veloute Sauce, which is never a bad thing! Here they are:

Turkey Soup 7-8 cups

1 Turkey Carcass
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
2 stalks celery, cut up
6 crushed peppercorns
(I also add a couple bay leaves and a chicken bouillon cube.)

Break the turkey carcass into pieces and put them in a soup pot with any small pieces of turkey that you can spare. Add 8 cups of water, onion, carrot, celery and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover partially and simmer for 3 or 4 hours. Strain the broth and cool it quickly, uncovered. Chill it and remove the fat when it solidifies or scoop any fat off the surface with a spoon. Add salt to taste before serving

Turkey Tetrazinni

4 cups (1/2 lb) cooked spaghetti
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 TBL dry sherry
salt to taste
1 recipe Veloute Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
8 or more slices cooked turkey
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Butter a 2 quart shallow baking dish and spread the cooked spaghetti in it. Stir in the nutmeg, sherry and salt into the warm veloute sauce and set aside. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft. Spoon half the sauce over the spaghetti. Place the chicken slices and mushrooms on top, and spoon on the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes.

Veloute Sauce

2 TBL Butter
3 TBL Flour
1 cup hot chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt to taste

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan. Stir in the flour and blend over moderate heat until smooth. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook 2 minutes more. Pour in the cream, add salt and heat thoroughly.

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