Keep Celebrating with Easter Leftovers
It’s Easter weekend, one of my favourite holidays because it usually brings with it beautiful spring weather, not to mention family togetherness. And chocolate. And turkey. All wrapped up in a long weekend.
Another of the innumerable pleasures of Easter weekend is … leftovers! Not last year’s eggs that never got found, but the leftovers from turkey dinner (sorry, ham people, I’ve got nothing for you). After Easter dinner is over, I love how the holiday continues to the delightful ding of the microwave as miniature versions of Easter dinner arrive steaming and ready. And don’t even get me started on how delightfully light on the palate a turkey sandwich with mayo, tomato, and lettuce is.
Once you’re down to the turkey bones, Easter surely seems over unless you’ve got a few chocolate eggs stashed away. You’re ready to toss the carcass in the compost bin or (god forbid) the garbage. But wait! There’s still plenty of turkey meat on those bones, and Easter doesn’t have to be over yet. The easiest and tastiest way to use up the last of the turkey is to make a soup or stew from the carcass. If you can boil a pot of water, you can make a turkey stew and keep celebrating Easter well into next week. Here’s how you get started:
Turkey Stew (or Soup)
Put the carcass into a large pot, breaking it up if necessary. Fill the pot with enough water to cover about half the carcass or more, depending on how much water you want in your stew or soup. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 3 hours. You are done this step when you can easily separate the meat from the bones just by picking it up, like in this video:
Remove the bones, leaving the meat and the broth in the pot. Depending how much meat was left on your turkey bones and how much water you added, you may have a turkey soup going on, or a turkey stew so meaty you can stand your spoon up in it.
At this point you have a nice, meaty turkey broth and you can take this recipe anywhere you want by adding cut up veggies like onions, carrots, celery, diced potatoes, a chopped up sweet potato, some cubed turnip. Add flavour with spices or seasoning such as a chicken bouillon cube and/or salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, thyme, sage, marjoram, garlic.
This year I think I’m going to take my meaty turkey broth and make this Turkey & Wild Rice Soup recipe by adding chicken bouillon, wild rice, onion, celery, carrots, spinach, sage, and balsamic vinegar.
Cook at a low boil for 30-60 minutes until the veggies are cooked to the desired tenderness. Done! Easter is the best!
What are you doing with your Easter leftovers?