For holiday feasting, almost everyone cooks, grills or fries a turkey. It’s delicious, feeds quite a few people and is a pretty good bang for your buck. You can take a lesson from our ancestors and utilize the “leftovers”, essentially you will transform turkey scraps into food.
Transform Turkey Scraps Into Food
It seems a shame to cook a large bird, or other chunk of meat, then throw a way a couple pounds of scraps and bones. These scraps and bones have the potential to be turned into some very nutritious stock.
Put aside those turkey, chicken or other poultry (or any other beef, ham or other bones, fat and scraps) and we’ll make some powerful soup stock.
If you don’t want to spend your holiday, simmering a large pot of leftover meat and bones, then put them in a large ziplock bag and toss them in the freezer, so you can do this when you have time.
- Toss the bones, skin, tendons and any tough or just plain weird turkey bits that are left over from carving (you know those pieces of gristle and meat that no one would ever eat) into a big soup pot. Note: this is a good time to grab that odd turkey neck, out of the refrigeration or freezer, that you pulled out of the turkey before you cooked it.
- Add enough water to cover the turkey. Some folks add a couple ounces of apple cider vinegar to leach out more of the nutrients from the bones.
- Add some carrots and celery
- Add spices. I like Thyme, Rosemary and Sage
- Heat to a boil, then turn down heat so that it gently boils for 4 hours, stirring occasionally (I stir every 20 minutes or so, and when I do I “scrape” the bottom of the soup pot to ensure that nothing is stuck or scorching).
- strain the liquid, aka soup stock, into containers or freezer bags
- Pop the stock into the freezer for later use
This makes for great soup and gives you a bit more return on your holiday turkey investment.
This will work for any other type of poultry, and you can make stock from any left over food bones (use some common sense here, people).
This embraces the old adage of “Waste not want not” and I also like the thought, of living by the Native American ideals, of using every part of the animal.