Disclaimer: this post is not for the squeamish. Or the vegetarians. And if you’ve come across this title expecting something sinister, you’ve come to the right place. Nothing is more dark and creepy than leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass. Dun Dun DUUUUN!
I hope everyone had a splendid holiday weekend full of friends, family, and ridiculously gluttonous feasting. I spent the evening of Thanksgiving with my dad’s side of the family, and took home with me the whole turkey carcass in a garbage bag.
My family was going to toss this beauty, but I couldn’t see such a perfect soup-starter go to waste. They joked that I would end up just throwing it out, so of course I had to take on the challenge and prove to them and the world that I would, indeed, make soup with it.
Why is it that when I look at this, all I can think of is a dinosaur’s head?
It wasn’t until two days after bringing it home that I remembered the dinosaur-turkey in the fridge. Oops. Well I was not about to lose my self-imposed bet. So I pulled the carcass out of the fridge, cringed at the sheer grossness, and put it in the big soup pot.
However, this originally 26 pound turkey was too big. (My large extended family goes through two turkeys on Thanksgiving, totaling 44 pounds of poultry). I had to resort to kitchen shears.
Ugh. It was so gross pulling apart that bird. Though I admit, what disturbed me even more was that I found it oddly fascinating. The sound of the cracking bones made me want to both throw up and laugh maniacally. Thankfully, I did neither.
Let me just say, my aunt knows how to season a bird. There was so much flavor from the herbs and garlic that I barely needed to add anything besides water. Really awesome stuff. Then I just let it simmer for an hour or so, after which I took out all the bones and strained the liquid.
I promise, that was the last gross picture. Though I am curious as to why we find these pictures so squeamish. Are we that disconnected from the sources of our food that we forget what it is we are actually eating? This is what a turkey looks like. (I had to keep reminding myself). And if we don’t think about the animal we’re eating, then we’re probably not considering what that animal ate (or was administered) in its lifetime, which we then consume ourselves. I could go on about ten tangents from this, but for now I will refrain. All I ask is to think about what you’re eating and where it comes from. In the meantime, here’s some soup.
I softened some leftover fennel and carrots that I had in my fridge then added garlic. (The soup was inspired from this recipe which I chose because it incorporated the only two vegetables I had.)
Finally, I added my beautiful broth and eventually some brown rice. It is simple soup, nothing to rave about, and yet as warm and comforting as any soup could be. Especially with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top.