Thursday, December 3, 2009

Post Turkey Wrap Up

We wanted to thank everyone who got their Thanksgiving turkey from us this November. We sold over 200 turkeys this year! Many more than we had sold the previous year, so thank you. We hope that you all enjoyed them as much as we enjoyed raising them for you. Right before the holiday, Channel 7 news can out to the farm to film the turkeys and to interview Harry. Here is the clip for you to enjoy:

I prepared my turkey this year as simply as possible. I made an aromatic lemon-herb rub that I spread under the skin and over the meat. This salty-herb mixture is given a boost of flavor by fresh lemon juice, which also acts as a binder to give the dry salt-herb mixture the structure of a spreadable paste. Works wonders and the turkey was scented with the fresh and light flavor of fresh lemon juice! I even smelled the lemon when I made up a batch of my homemade stock and I didn't even add any additional lemon juice.

Now if you did not make a batch of turkey stock from your turkey this Thanksgiving, shame on you. It is so easy and wonderful to use in just about anything. We froze most of our stock but we also used it in making Turkey Tortilla Soup when we were trying to be creative with our leftovers. We loved this soup so much we ate it for 4 days straight! It will definately be making another appearance in our household next year. (We are always looking for good ways to use up turkey leftovers, so if you have suggestions-please share!)

Homemade Turkey/Chicken Stock:
1 turkey or chicken carcass or 1 stew hen
enough water to cover the carcass or stew hen
1 onion (quartered)
(may use the green parts of 1-2 leeks)
1/2 head of garlic (cloves peeled and smashed)
4-6 carrots (cut into thirds)
(may use 1-2 quartered apples or 1-2 roughly chopped sweet potatoes- something sweet)
4-6 celery stalks (cut into thirds)
(may use 1-2 roughly chopped celeriac- something earthy)
2-3 parsnips (cut into thirds)
(may use 2-3 quartered turnips- something peppery or spicy)
1 bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley or parsley stems
4 whole bay leaves (preferably fresh- crack the leaf to release the oils)
1 T of whole black peppercorns
1 T of course kosher or sea salt

Put everything into a large stock pot and cover with water. Make sure that the carcass or hen is completely covered. The rest of the ingredients will either sink or float, so gauge the water level on the bird. Cover the pot, but leave the lid ajar to let out steam. Bring the pot to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer the stock for at least 2 hours. Check occasionally to make sure it does not boil over and to monitor how rapid it simmers. The stock is done when you can push on the carcass or hen and it collapses with a little force. The bones should just fall apart to ensure that all the connective tissue has been broken down thoroughly. Turn off heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain out all the solids and let the rich broth cool before you package it up in freezer containers. Once the bones are cool enough to handle, you may pick off all the meat and use it for another use. Stock can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for 2 months. Once you make stock you will never want to use store-bought broth again. It is also a great way to use up vegetable odds and ends without wasting them! Homemade stock is both tasty and economical. Enjoy!

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