Sunday, April 11, 2010
This meal is brought to you by my mother-in-law, Sharron! She made a delicious turkey at her house for Easter dinner. After dinner, Joe carved the rest of the turkey (and we packaged up a portion of it for ourselves for leftovers), then Sharron put the whole carcass in a huge pot of water and let it simmer for about an hour or so. Then we poured the contents of the pot over a strainer, reserving the broth. It filled three large mason jars, and she let us take two of them home with us! We don't cook whole chickens or turkeys are our house very often, so to get real homemade stock like this was really a treat.
When we got the jars of stock home, we refrigerated them overnight, and the next day they had become completely gelatinous, with about a half-inch layer of white colored fat on top. We scooped off the fat with a spoon, and kept the stock refrigerated until we were ready to use it.
A few days later, I made Mark Bittman's Chicken Noodle Soup recipe, using one of his variations that included fusilli and roasted garlic, and using turkey instead of chicken. Of course, it turned out awesome! It would be hard to screw up anything that started with homemade stock. I only had one problem with it, and that was the shape of the onions. He has you halve the onion and thinly slice it. To me, that produced slices of onions that were too long compared to the other ingredients. If I were to make this again, I think I would quarter the onion and then slice it. But that's just me being picky. It reminded me of a little place I like in town called the Soup Shop; all the ingredients in their soups are roughly the same size, which makes it easy to get perfect spoonfuls of soup!
To go with the soup, we had slices of Sharron's "Alligator Bread". It's a sweet bread, kind of like Challah. She has been making it since Joe was a little kid. She just decided to make it in the shape of an alligator one day, and Joe and his sisters loved it so much that she has been making it that way ever since. Isn't that so cute!?
Turkey Noodle Soup with Fusilli and Garlic
adapted from Mark Bittman - How to Cook Everything
8 ounces fusilli (or other curly pasta)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 head of roasted garlic, cloves removed from their skins and mashed into a paste
6 cups turkey stock (or chicken stock)
8 ounces cooked and cut up boneless turkey meat (we did a mixture of light and dark meat)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish (we forgot this)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until it's just about done, but still lightly chewy. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.
Add the oil to a deep saucepan and heat over medium-high. When hot, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add the mashed garlic, stir, then add the stock. Season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
Once the soup is boiling, add the cooked pasta and the cut up cooked turkey. Cook for a couple of minutes, just enough to finish cooking the pasta and thoroughly heat the turkey. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper as necessary. Garnish with the parsley and Parmesan.