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Tasty turkey

What’s Cookin’?

By Donna Zitter Bordelon

A little dish oft furnishes enough

And sure enough is equal to a feast.

— Fielding

A holiday feast: It’s not too early to start planning your Christmas dinner menu.

Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Batman and Robin, Assault and Battery, Bonnie and Clyde, Proctor and Gamble — these dynamic duos are a lot like bones and soup. You wouldn’t have one without the other.

One of the secrets to making a good broth/stock is to allow the bones time to just simmer to produce maximum flavor. Marrow bones are the basis for many good beef-based and vegetable soups. Ham bones make a great bean, pea or lentil soup. Ditto, turkey bones. After the turkey appears to be picked to the bone, don’t trash the remains. Instead, find a stock pot to make soup.

Christmas is all about the turkey dinner, but the turkey carcass and wing tips will make a tasty turkey broth for another day — ”a little dish…equal to a feast.”


1 roasted turkey carcass and any remaining bones and wing tips

8–10 cups water

2 stalks celery, including leaves, chopped

2 medium carrots, cut into chunks

1 large onion, quartered

2 Tbsp. parsley

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

Noodles — a handful or two

Remove any stuffing from turkey bones, and put bones into a large stock pot.

Cover bones with water, add remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil.

Skim off any foam that accumulates on surface edge. Reduce heat, and simmer for 2–2½ hours. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.

Strain soup into a container to refrigerate for later use. Pick off any meat from the bones and add to the soup. Alternatively, if using immediately, strain soup into a saucepan, remove any meat from bones and add to soup, add noodles, and cook until noodles are tender.

Turkey stock/broth is the basis for this creamy mushroom soup.


4 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbsp. parsley, minced

1/3 cup flour

4 cups turkey broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

1½ cups half and half

2½ cups cooked turkey, chopped

1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. celery seed

In a soup pot, melt butter over medium heat.

Add onions, and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Add mushrooms and parsley, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Blend in the flour. Stir in the turkey broth, wine and half and half.

Stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a boil.

Add remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Since we’re talking turkey, let’s not forget the giblets. Although many cooks use turkey giblets to make their gravy, giblets are often wasted. Here is a recipe my grandmother used to turn giblets into good soup. It is reminiscent of a scotch broth, and follows the current trend of not being wasteful but using everything but the gobble.


Turkey giblets and wing tips

6–8 cups water

½ cup barley

2 carrots, chopped

2 stalks celery, including leaves, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1½ Tbsp. marjoram leaves

2 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced, optional

In a large soup pot, bring the water to boil and add giblets and wing tips.

Skim off residue and foam.

Add the barley, carrots, celery, onion, marjoram, salt and pepper, and reduce heat.

Allow to simmer for 1–1½ hours.

If using, add the mushrooms during the last one-half hour of simmering.

Remove giblets and wing tips. Carefully remove meat from the neck bones, and return meat to the soup. Discard bones.

Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.

Eat well, live long, enjoy!

(Questions or tips can be sent to Donna Zitter Bordelon at WhatscookinNEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the Times, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 400, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002)

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