Turkey, Ben Franklin’s choice for the national bird, is almost never cooked whole outside of the holiday season. I consider this no small culinary tragedy, as its flavor is rich and hearty, and easily surpasses that of the modest chicken. Turkeys are large, however, and cooking them requires some forethought as to how the generous portion of flesh will be consumed. On the day of cooking, of course, the obvious feasting on the gorgeous brown bird is simple. Thereafter, however, the cook must be prepared to include leftovers in various dishes, among them, the famous turkey soup. Here is what I do with a turkey carcass and a pound of the dark meat from the legs & thighs. Cook a turkey today!
Turkey Barley Soup
makes about a gallon
1 turkey carcass from roast or fried turkey, including leg & wing bones
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound shallots, minced
1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped
1/2 pound celery, minced
1/4 pound carrots, minced
1 tablespoon marjoram
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup barley
1 pound cooked turkey dark meat, chopped
1 ounce flat-leaf parsley, minced
Place turkey carcass & bones in large stock pot, cover with cold water, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for at least 8 hours. Strain & defat stock. (My favorite way to defat a stock is to put the strained stock back into the clean stockpot, then refrigerate. The stock will gel, and the fat will rise to the top. Use a large, flat serving spoon to scoop the fat layer off.) Reserve 3 quarts stock for soup.
In a large stock pot or French oven, sauté shallots in oil over low heat, covered, until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add mushrooms, increase heat to medium-low, and sauté 5 minutes. Add celery & carrots & sauté for an additional 10 minutes. Add stock, wine, & marjoram and bring to boil over high heat. Add barley, reduce heat to low, and simmer until barley is tender, about 30-45 minutes. Add chicken & parsley, simmer for 5 minutes, taste for salt and serve.