Thanksgiving leftovers. Who doesn’t love them? I once heard that if Thanksgiving is the biggest eating day of the year then the day after is the second biggest eating day of the year. I completely agree with this! I honestly think everything tastes better. Maybe it’s cause I’m not stuffed to the gills but I am so grateful for those leftovers.
By Dana Zai
Now I must have a repeat of that delicious dinner the day after, let’s say by brunch, seeming I had pie for breakfast, but by the next morning my mind (and my taste buds) have begun to wander. I start wondering what else I can do with all the nummy food bulging from the fridge. We all know the classic turkey sandwich that is a must the next day. In fact, when I polled my friends and majority of them voted turkey sandwiches as their favorite post turkey day food. My favorite? Turkey soup.
The first thing I do the morning after (after I’ve had my pie of course) is to stuff the turkey carcass in a large pot and make stock with it. Turkey makes the most wonderful stock and enough to last through many a soup night in the winter. Just place the turkey carcass, wings and neck included, in a large soup pot and add a cup or so of white wine, a few carrots, celery, some sprigs of herbs, and a chopped onion (skin on which adds more color and depth of flavor), then fill with water till just covered.
Simmer at just barely a bubble, covered, for 3-4 hours. Chill for the night and scrape the fat off the top, give it to the dog, and then bring the lovely mess up to room temp over medium heat. Remove from the heat and strip all the meat from the bones (leave in the soup) and very carefully remove all the bones and veggies from the stock. (I have found the hands are the only way to do this right, thus why room temp is so much more pleasant than 40 degrees.) And voila! Freeze in quart containers and you are well “stocked” for the winter.
This is my very favorite turkey soup to make. I got this recipe from Greg Higgins, the chef at Portland’s landmark restaurant “Higgins” that is still going strong at 20 years old. The avocado relish is purely optional but elevates this soup from wonderful to fabulous. Enjoy your thanksgiving and all those abundant leftovers in the fridge and remember to give back some way during this holiday season. I am ever so thankful for you, my readers.
Turkey or Chicken Pozole Rojo with an Avocado Relish
Chipotle chili powder and smoked paprika are available at Mother Nature’s in the bulk spice section. If you don’t have them, substitute regular chili powder and bump it up to 3 teaspoons. This soups serves 4-6 people as a main dish, more if a starter dish.
Perfect Spice mix;
1.5 teaspoons of chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1.5 teaspoons of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoons of cracked black pepper
.5 teaspoon of sea salt
Prepare the spice blend by mixing all the spices together in a small bowl. (Double it for a great spice mix to use on anything you please.)
1-2 TBLS of coconut oil or other high heat oil
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2-6 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 32 oz container of low sodium organic chicken broth
OR 1 quart of homemade chicken or turkey broth
2-3 cups of cooked and shredded turkey
4-5 fat carrots, sliced into 1/4” rounds
2-3 stocks of celery, chopped
1 28 oz can of organic low sodium crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 4.5 can of mild diced green chilies
1 small can of organic tomato paste
2 bell peppers, coarsely chopped
The juice of 1 to 2 limes
1 to 2 teaspoons of honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Get out your favorite soup pot, everyone has one, and heat it up over medium-high heat and sauté the onions and garlic till fragrant and translucent, about 2-5 mins. While they are cooking sprinkle half the spice mix over it and mix in. Toss in the chopped carrots, celery and green chilies and sprinkle the rest of the spice mix over the mix while doing the cha cha. Pour in the broth, shredded meat, canned tomatoes, and paste and mix them in well. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20-35 minutes till the carrots are just starting to get tender and the house smells like goodness. Add the bell peppers and cook for 5 mins more, (I like my bell peppers slightly crunchy) then, taste and add the honey and the lime juice, a little bit at a time till you have the right flavor. Add any salt and pepper it might need and serve with the avocado relish and radishes. Ole!
½ cup of chopped cilantro
1/3 cup of chopped green onions
1 diced and peeled avocado
Grated lime zest of one lime and juice
3 ounces of cotija cheese, crumbled
A pinch of salt
When the soup is almost ready to serve, dice the avocado up and squeeze a little lime juice over it and sprinkle with the lime zest. Add the cilantro, green onions and cheese then mix gently till barely mixed. Serve on the soup.