That turkey carcass leftover from your holiday meal is treasure, not trash! The frame from your turkey (or chicken) makes the most delicious broth you have ever tasted. Simply put the bones (and skin if you have any) into your slow cooker and cover it with water. Let it simmer overnight and in the morning you will have the base for a delicious soup.
If you want to make your broth a little more healthy, you can refrigerate the broth before making the soup. This will cause the fat to harden on the top so you can discard it. Unlike canned broth, your homemade broth will be gelatinous so don’t think you have done something wrong. I’ve had people ask me if their broth is bad since it is so thick and gelatinous; it is actually the sign of a good quality broth. After discarding the fat, you can either freeze the broth in bags or freezer jars or you can use it in soup right away.
There is no right or wrong way to make soup from a turkey carcass; just use whatever you have on hand. The simplest version can be made with broth, mixed vegetables, and leftover turkey. I like to add diced tomatoes, mixed vegetables from the freezer, and frozen egg noodles to mine. Season your soup however you like; I use Montreal Chicken Seasoning and lots of fresh ground pepper in mine.
Here is a basic recipe for Turkey Frame Soup; feel free to adapt it to the ingredients you have on hand.
Turkey Frame Soup
- leftover turkey carcass, including skin if available
- water to cover (about 8 cups)
- 2 cups leftover turkey, shredded or chopped
- 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (or leftover vegetables you have on hand)
- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
- salt and pepper (or other seasonings) to taste
- 1 bag frozen egg noodles
Place turkey frame and skin in slow cooker. Cover with water and simmer on low overnight. In the morning, strain and refrigerate broth until fat rises to the top and hardens. Discard fat and place broth in a pot. Add leftover turkey, mixed vegetables, tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Add frozen egg noodles and cook until done. Serve immediately.