Turkey roasted — what to do with carcass?

OK, the practice turkey-roasting went pretty well. I need to allow more time for thawing next time, as I tore the skin to the left of the abdominal cavity while trying to remove the still-frozen neck, and now I know to look for the giblets in a paper pouch under the neck flap.

But the turkey came out very well (the skin wasn’t as crispy as it should have been — maybe I’ll let it rest without aluminum foil next time?) — and now I have a torn-up carcass with connective tissues and bits of meat on it. I’ve stuck it into zip-top bags in the fridge, along with a plastic tub with the drippings, and I’m hoping someone can tell me what to do with the carcass (and neck, which is still uncooked).

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Turkey roasted — what to do with carcass?

  1. trunkbutt

    May I humbly suggest placing bacon strips over the skin during cooking, removing them when they have become crispy and placing new ones in their stead. It makes the turkey tasty. You might also choose to baste once or twice with dark beer.

  2. heyharmony

    I’m sure you’ll feel like slappin’ me, but I find turkey to be one of the easiest meals to cook. The secret happens to be… simplicity. Yes, allow time to defrost. Yes, take out all the gooeys. Use the simple, and totally unrefined, method of the turkey roasting bag. The turkey has never been dry that way. Stick a quartered onion and some celery in the cavity when cooking. Get fancy, if you like, and soak it in a salt water bath before cooking. Feel free to slather it in butter before it hits the bag, too. But the best turkeys I’ve ever had were done simply, with minimal fancy stuff, and in that darn bag.

    The bag can then be emptied, with all it’s lovely turkey-juicy-ness to make gravy.

  3. sylvar

    Yes, I brined it according to Alton Brown’s turkey recipe. It came out just right, as far as I can tell, except for not having a crispy skin — but I found the instructions a bit vague. I blanketed the turkey in aluminum foil when perhaps I should have made a geodesic dome above it.

  4. sylvar

    Hmm, I haven’t needed to baste it at all — and I hate to cool the oven by opening it. But I’ll keep those ideas in mind once I get experimental…

  5. pandorable

    i make a soup out of the carcass.

    Take off as much meat as you can, and set the meat aside.

    Large pot of water and boil it to nothing. I usually throw in some left over veggies too, like carrots and celery including the greens… then i strain it all, throw away the veggies and bones (unless you want to save them, dry them and make some sort of macabre wind chime or Halloween costume). I cool the broth and skim off the excess greasy stuff. Add the turkey to the broth, and anything else you want… maybe carrots, curly noodles, etc… The broth by itself freezes really well.

    If you want to get really creative, you can fill an ice cube tray with turkey broth and when it’s frozen move them to a freezer bag. They add nice flavor to vegetables (and can be used instead of butter…)

    the neck and innards i throw away. probably wasteful, they can be added to the soup, but i just have a personal thing against it…

  6. sylvar

    Boil it hard or simmer it? Roughly how much time does it take?

    I suspect I’ll have to cool the broth not only because I won’t have time to do more than that tonight, but also because I lack the cheesecloth for straining it…

    I’ll probably make soup with the broth, although I might save a bit for making rice.

  7. pandorable

    Let’s go to my cooking bible…

    The Fannie Farmer Cookbook
    ~Turkey Soup~

    Serve Turkey Soup as a clear broth or add some cooked noodles, rice, or barley. It can also be used as a base in many vegetables soups.

    Ingredients:
    – 1 Turkey carcass plus giblets if available
    – 8 cups of water
    – 1 onion, sliced
    – 1 carrot, sliced
    – 2 stalks of celery, cut up
    – 6 crushed peppercorns
    – salt

    Break the turkey carcass into pieces and put them in a soup pot with any small pieces of turkey meat and giblets that you can spare. Add the water, onion, carrot, celery and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover partially, and simmer for 3 or 4 hours. Strain the broth and cool it quickly, uncovered. Chill it and remove the fat when it solidifies, or scoop any fat off the surface with a spoon. Add salt to taste before serving.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    the straining part is something I do, but the recipe doesn’t call for it. Personally I don’t like some of the goopy stuff, so I toss out all but the broth, and only put the white meat into the soup at the end.

  8. loucheroo

    I concur with the “make soup of the carcass” idea. As for the neck and giblets/gizzard/etc — make gravy?

    The crispy problem isn’t with the way you ahve the foil on — i always take the foil off for the last little bit of cooking (ummm… maybe 30 minutes?), baste and let it cook. it crisps up the skin nicely.

    This whole cooking a turkey thing doesn’t bother the vegetarian in you?

  9. sylvar

    This whole cooking a turkey thing doesn’t bother the vegetarian in you?

    I intend to cook meat foods for my wife for many decades to come, and I may as well learn to make a meal that comes as close as possible to being worth an animal’s life.

  10. cadrys

    ..not to mention using as much of the animal as possible. :)

    Carcasses equal soup-stock, absolutely.

  11. trunkbutt

    Seriously, dude. This is what we do in my house and it RULEZ0RZ!!1!1

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