November 29, 2014

Turkey Stock - after 2 days - the real nectar of the gods

Our family Thanksgiving is full of traditions. There is always a whole fresh pumpkin pie stashed in the fridge for the day after Thanksgiving. Breakfast and leftovers wouldn't be the same without them. We also save a bag of rolls for cold turkey sandwiches. And, about 4 years ago we inaugurated Friendsgiving at out house. All traditions, entrenched.

The tradition I look forward to for it's amazing fragrance over the Thanksgiving weekend, is the making of Turkey Stock on the stove. I gather the bones and cart them home when my sister has Thanksgiving. This year we combined friends and family and had the dinner party at our house. So just after the guests left and my Dear was on the 3rd load of dishes, the turkey popped into my La Creuset Doufeu, with yellow onions and carrots and just enough water to cover it. I had also reserved the turkey roasting pan drippings and side by side they spent the next day reducing into the most wonderful stocks. Of course the small version from the pan was done the first night. This morning I let the big pot finish and drained the nectar to these jars. (There are 3 of them.)

I'm quite happy to have this brilliant base for soup -- which we can use almost anytime -- and for sauces. Someone was suggesting a Turkey pot pie, too. And since I made the (amazing) Torrisi's Turkey Breast recipe I found at Food 52, (thank you!) we may have just enough turkey left for a pie. Turkey soup sounds good, but we're facing 75 degree weather right now. When the temperature changes, I'll pull the stock out of the freezer, hopefully in December, and make a beautiful pot with fat noodles.

I had a wonderful experience with Ina Garten's make ahead gravy this year. I had a jar of chicken stock for the base. The recipe calls for chopped red onion, butter and flour and seasoning. I added drippings and a crisp white wine when the turkey finished and it was so good. Next year, I may make a turkey around the beginning of fall and save that stock for the big day.

Thanksgiving with all its traditions is an evolving tableau. This year we added a wild rice dish and my son's new favorite, Mrs. Board's chopped sweet potatoes. (He fell in love with them, so those sweet potatoes in jackets just had to move over on the plate and give space to their bright orange goodness.)

Thanksgiving is such a creative and inspiring holiday for me. How about you?

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