Recipe For Health
Corporate Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski
Featured Food: turkey Yield: Serves 6-8Learn more about turkey

Ingredients

  • Turkey Stock (Makes 2 ½ quarts)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 turkey carcass or 3 lb. (about 5) turkey wings
  • 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 gal. water
  • Soup
  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 recipe turkey stock
  • Salt to taste
  • Turkey meat
  • 10 oz. egg noodles
  • ¼ c. chopped parsley or other fresh herb

Preparation

Turkey Stock
Heat olive oil in a large pot. When oil shimmers, add wings and sauté until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes (if using turkey bones, skip this step; add bones after browning the vegetables). Add celery, onions and carrots and sauté until colored and slightly softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add herbs, peppercorns and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer and skim the fat for 4 hours. Strain broth; set aside. Remove wings; pull meat from bones and shred; set aside. Discard skin, bones and remaining solids. 

Soup
Heat butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add celery, carrots and onions; cook until soft, about 8–10 minutes. Add stock. Season with salt to taste. Bring to boil. Stir in turkey meat and noodles. Cook until noodles are just tender. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley or another fresh herb, if you like.

Learn More About turkey

In 1784, Benjamin Franklin, disapproving of the bald eagle as the avian symbol of our new country, wrote a letter to his daughter describing the turkey as “a much more respectable Bird, and a true original Native of America.” Americans are wild about the farm-raised variety of Mr. Franklin’s favorite fowl. If our citizenry voted with their forks, the turkey would be America’s national bird.

Let’s talk turkey to answer some of your most pressing questions: 

  • What does “prebasted” mean? Flavor enhancers—mostly salt and broth—have been injected into the meat during processing. 
  • Fresh or frozen? “Fresh” turkeys may be chilled to 26 ° which keeps them fresh longer but also allows ice crystals to form. If temperatures go up and down during shipping, ice crystals melt and re-form causing the turkey to be tough and dry when cooked. You may be better off with a frozen turkey that’s only thawed once. 
  • It’s Wednesday and my turkey’s still in the freezer. Now what? Refrigerator thawing takes 1 day for every 4 pounds of turkey—that means you should have placed your 16 to 20 pounder in the fridge the weekend before Thanksgiving. To save the day, follow the USDA’s safe alternative thawing method that takes about 30 minutes per pound. 
  • To brine or not to brine? Brining adds flavor and moisture. Make enough brine (½ cup table salt per gallon of cold water) to cover your turkey. Place turkey in brine and refrigerate. After 12 to 14 hours, no longer, take turkey from brine, rinse well and pat dry before roasting. Do not brine a prebasted or kosher turkey as it will be too salty. 
  • How about that pop-up timer? Set to pop at 178°, your turkey will be too done if you rely on the pop-up timer. Instead, use a meat thermometer; remove your turkey from the oven when the breast temperature reaches 165°. 

To use your turkey right down to the gobble, see Chef’s recipe for turkey soup.  

Peggy Crum, MA, RD

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