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For the grand turkey finale -- or "how to use the leftovers after a turkey roast" -- here's a perfect Friday night supper.
1 turkey carcass plus bits and scrapings
1 onion, sliced
1 cup chopped celery plus leaves
1/2 to 1 cup sliced carrots (optional)
bouquet garni: 3 or 4 sprigs of parsley (1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried), 2 sprigs of thyme (1 heaping teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried), 1 small bay leaf
water to cover
salt to taste
Break the carcass in half and put it and any remaining scrapings and bits of turkey in a stock pot, preferably not aluminum. Throw in the onion, the celery and the bouquet garni (a combination of parsley, thyme and a bay leaf plus whatever else you think might taste good -- perhaps some sage, rosemary, basil or oregano). This you can tie separately in a little bag or throw in loose. If you use a bay leaf, remove it before you serve the soup. Bay leaves can be a bit rough on your digestive tract.
Pour enough water over the bird to cover it, bring to a boil, turn the heat down, cover leaving the lid open a crack, and simmer for a 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
After the stock is cooked, strain out the solids. You can pick out whatever of the solids you wish to return to the stock, pieces of chicken, vegetables, etc. Or you can add any turkey leftovers to make a more substantial soup.
Dumplings are any dough, flavored any way, simmered or steamed rather than baked. From here we can go almost anywhere. But for the soup, we'll use a simple baking powder biscuit dough and flavor it with some chives.
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour Blend the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. With your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture looks like cornmeal. (If you're using vegetable oil, mix it with the milk.) Stir in the chives. Take about 20 seconds and stir in the milk with a fork.
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 tablespoons butter (1/4 to 1/2 stick) or vegetable oil (the more the richer -- the less the more calorie kindly; you can also opt to use no fat at all which will make chewier dumplings.)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (or 1 tablespoon dried)
3/4 cup milk or buttermilk
Bring the soup to a boil and turn it down until it is bubbling lightly. Dip a soup spoon or an ice cream or cookie scoop in the broth, then scoop out a dumpling and place it in the broth and continue until the surface is covered. Remember that, like biscuits, they will expand, so allow them some room. Cover and cook until the dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
To serve, spoon a couple of dumplings into a soup bowl and then ladle the soup over them. A pretty nice finale for a turkey on a cold winter night!
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 3, January-February 1992 issue.