|iPhone photo. High class.|
The turkey was brined and smoked and gone very quickly. There was quite a carcass left though, and it smelled so good that I had to turn it into stock. Mr. Turkey turned into about 6 cups of stock, and 4 cups of shredded turkey (I thought we had picked it clean...it's amazing what 6+ hours of boiling over the course of 3 days will do!).
And if you're worried that the shredded turkey had no flavor (how could it possibly, after being boiled for so long?), worry not. It's still very flavorful, and shredded so finely that it didn't get chewy or tough. Instead, I was left with a delectable pile of meat, and several cups of stock, both of which sat in the freezer for about a month.
Until Monday night.
Hungry and looking for carb- and sugar-free options, I remembered the turkey business taking up valuable freezer real estate and decided to improvise. [sorry excuse for a recipe starts now] I browned up some garlic (in a little bit of lard, because...I had some in the fridge), tossed in the frozen hunk of shredded meat, popped the cylinder of stock out of its tupperware, and set it to work in the Le Creuset. I added whatever was in the kitchen (a green bell pepper, some cipollini onions, a little olive oil, a little white wine) and let it defrost as it simmered. Added a can of tomatoes, and a can of black beans, which turned out to be great ideas both, and also tossed in fresh kale and chard from our garden because lah di dah. I don't even remember what spices I threw in there...chili powder, black pepper, lemon pepper, paprika, oregano...unidentified-red-curry-type-spice-whose-label-has-rubbed-off. It was all good.
Topped that baby with some avocado, Greek yogurt, and Tapatío and BOOM. That is some damn good smoked turkey soup.
There are about 4 cups left, hanging out in the fridge in glass jars, waiting to be reconstituted with a little more stock and wine. And there are still 2 cups of stock and 2 cups of shredded chicken hanging out in the freezer.
Healthy, delicious, and filling, this soup-from-scratch makes me feel like bragging about my culinary prowess. But guys, it's too easy. I can't get all high and mighty (besides, that's not the KKS way) and condescend to you about the joys of cooking from scratch and my magnificent stockpile (get it? stock - pile? oh I slay me) just waiting in the freezer.
I have a lot of stock at the moment. It's true. And making it is time-consuming, but it's not hard. (add carcass and/or veggies to a big pot. cover with water. boil until it tastes good. strain out the stuff. freeze the liquid or reduce it down further and then freeze it. boom.) Because it takes a while, and good-quality stock is pretty readily available for purchase, I don't always believe it's worth it...but this soup is worth it.
I guess the lesson here is that if you're going to take the time to smoke your own meat, you should take the time to make your own stock. Lesson learned. It's really, really worth it.