Most people cook turkeys for thanksgiving. I cook them when I am stuck inside for a COVID-19 pandemic and happen to have a frozen turkey that I never used in November. International economic uncertainty has a way of motivating you to not waste food. If you follow the right steps, a turkey can feed a family for days. Turkey and Wild Rice soup is an easy, denture friendly way to get ever ounce of value out of a turkey.
This soup can be made with chicken broth and chicken, but I feel like a turkey tells the story better. There is something satisfying about making your own broth from a turkey carcass. You also get a lot of usable meat out of the process, meat that would other wise get thrown out. To get a turkey ready for this soup, follow these steps:
Get a turkey, and cook it perfectly. There are a hundred ways to do it; I'll leave this important path to self discovery up to you.
Put the carcass, with the neck and any extra bones, in a large stock pot. Fill with 8-12 cups of water; the carcass breaks down as it heats up so don't worry if the water doesn't cover it right away. Cover and simmer for 2-4 hours. The longer you cook it, the more turkey goodness gets transferred to the broth.
Drain the broth through a strainer and into a large pot or bowl. It can be used right away or you can put it in the fridge. Once it's cooled, its easy to put in small freezer bags or containers to store long term in the freezer.
Pick every last piece of usable meat on the remaining carcass, this is the meat you will use for your soup.
Turkey and Wild Rice Soup has a food softness level of 3 . Level 3 foods are moist, have multiple solid textures, and can be processed into bite sized pieces without extensive chewing.
Substituting the wild rice for white rice will make it softer and easier to eat. You could also puree the finished soup in a blender if you require a pureed texture.
Benjamin Franklin held turkeys in high esteem, much more so than the bald eagle. We learn about this in a letter he wrote on January 26, 1784:
“For my own part I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead tree, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labour of the fishing hawk; and when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him, and takes it from him.
For in truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey was peculiar to ours, the first of the species seen in Europe being brought to France by the Jesuits from Canada, and served up at the wedding table of Charles the ninth. He is besides, (though a little vain and silly tis true, but not the worse emblem for that) a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on.”
A large stock pot is a great investment. It gets a bit stressful if all the ingredients are teetering close to the top of your pot and you haven’t boiled it yet. Stress is not good for your health, get a larger pot.