I have been mostly pescatarian for about 30 years. I've had a few poultry-friendly months when my body craved it for a bit, like now. I've been eating chicken and turkey for a few months now. Still, I'm not really all the way back in the poultry game so the turkey and I had a bit of a tussle on Thanksgiving, me being a near-turkey virgin, and both of us nearly ending up on the kitchen floor. But, he ended up being the juiciest, most flavorful turkey I have seen or tasted -- oozing with flavor! The secret: brine + butter.
I brined him for 24 hours, per the Alton Brown's Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe. Then I took a stick of softened butter and chopped up a bunch of fresh herbs (and salt) to make a nice herb butter. I lifted the turkey skin and put it all over him! Inside the cavity I put my favorite herbs -- thyme and parsley, a bunch of lemons and onion and one apple. I followed Alton's cooking times as well, 500 degrees at first, etc. as noted in the recipe. I also put in the pan under the roasting rack, a potato, some carrots and onion. They were crispy delicious at the end of the roasting time.
The turkey was so juicy and flavorful that even days later you could bit into a turkey leftover and it was moist and delicious!
Then I went all the way in. I made a broth out of the carcass and then created this soup.
Recipe for Turkey Leftovers Soup:
- Sautee Onion, Garlic, Celery, Carrots - to taste + whim
- Add 8 to 12 cups of broth
- Add fresh peas (I used about 1/2 bag of Trader Joe's fresh peas)
- Add about 1/2 bag of Trader Joe's Roasted Corn
- Add one container of store-bought sliced mushrooms
- Add about a cup of Farro
- Then I added a bunch of the leftover turkey AND the piece de resistance, the scraps of roasted potato and carrot from the bottom of the turkey roasting pan (chopped up).
- Add fresh or dried herbs, including a couple by leaves.
- Simmer to ultimate yumminess
For one of my bowls I added a little leftover stuffing on top for even more recycling pleasure!