It's not for me to say that the sole reason for roasting a turkey is so that you can make soup from the carcass later. But I will say this: if you've ever experienced any sort of disappointment about how your turkey turned out like maybe the white meat was too dry and overcooked, you should know that the carcass is the turkey's way of making it up to you.
(This is true even if your turkey was perfectly moist and crispy and flavorful, by the way.)
You can make a terrific broth by simmering a turkey carcass along with some carrots, celery, onion, herbs, spices — and then using that broth to make turkey noodle soup with the leftover meat.
As a matter of fact, it happens to be the very best thing you can do with a turkey carcass. You'll probably have to cut it up first, which you can do using a good set of kitchen shears. And you can wrap up the parts you don't use and freeze them.
You can also use the broth for making turkey chili or turkey gravy — the possibilities are limitless, and it all starts with the turkey carcass.
Not only do the bones impart loads of deep turkey flavor, but the cartilage in the sternum, ribcage, and elsewhere will slowly melt away into a rich gelatin which will give body to the soup, and it will also jell in the refrigerator.
Of course, if you're roasting a boneless turkey breast, and you haven't got a carcass in the freezer, you can use store-bought turkey or chicken stock (or broth).
- 1 turkey carcass from a roasted turkey
- 1 onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 8 ounces wide egg noodles (or other dried pasta)
- 1½ cups cooked turkey meat, diced
- Kosher salt & ground white pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Place the turkey carcass (or portion thereof) in a stockpot along with a quartered onion and a bay leaf. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for three hours.
- Remove the carcass, pull off all the meat and set the meat aside. Meanwhile strain the liquid, rinse out the pot and then return the liquid to the pot. You can put the bay leaf back in. Bring it to a boil, then add the carrots and celery. Simmer until the carrots are not-quite-soft.
- Now add the noodles, and cook until al-dente, which will depend on the variety of pasta you're using. Follow package instructions!
- Add the turkey meat, and season the soup with Kosher salt and ground white pepper. Serve right away in bowls garnished with the chopped parsley.