help! How to get the grease out of Turkey Soup?
Every year, we try to make good use of the turkey carcass after Thanksgiving. I'm talking Turkey Soup here. A hit-or-miss adventure, some years its tasteless, some years its really greasy, and once,maybe twice, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it was just right. Who knows why? Any hints on skimming the grease out of the soup are appreciated. We've done a web search of Turkey Soup recipes, and most of them sound pretty much like what we've been putting together. But if you have a tasty "sceret ingredient" that really sets off a great taste, please jump in as well. Happy Thanksgiving to all- we have so much to be thankful for!
After you boil the carcass, strain the broth into a container and refrigerate until the grease hardens on top. Then remove it. You can pick the meat off the bones and reserve to go back in the soup later, or plan multiple uses if you have a lot of it.
Next, heat and taste it (put a little in a cup and salt that part for tasting, if you need to). If it is hopelessly bland, boil it down until it tastes as flavorful as you like it. No more bland turkey soup. I find that when a soup is gelatinous at refrigerator temperatures, it is probably pretty tasty, and when it is watery and thin, it probably tastes that way too, so I expect to need to concentrate it.
If you don't have the time to wait for the broth to chill (in order to remove the hardened fat), try a grease mop -- they do work. They're composed of a material that absorbs fat but not water.
As for flavor, you can try any of the following:
Start with a good canned chicken broth (low or no salt, preferably) for part of your liquid.
Add a quarter cup or so of dry sherry.
If you happen to have some dried porcini on hand, soak a handful in some warm water, strain the soaking liquid and add it.
Assuming that you have leftover gravy, and that it's tasty, add some to your soup.
Chilling it is the best way. Even an hour of so will help the fat come to the top. Otherwise, skim throughout the process with a spoon. You can also use a paper towel if you need to.
Add white wine or sherry, leftover gravy, fresh leafy greens, a bit of mustard, smoked sausage, and/or extra vegetables to add flavor.
An easy way to degrease when you don't have time to chill drop in a few ice cubes and the fat will adhere to them
I agree with the poster who suggests starting with some chicken broth as part of the cooking liquid for extra rich stock. Be sure to add plenty of aromatics with the bones-- white wine, onion stuck with cloves, carrot, celery leaf, parsnip, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, black peppercorn. Don't fill the pot to the top with water-- just cover the bones. Simmer for a couple of hours and top it up with boiling water if the bones are exposed. Strain out the solids and chill the stock overnight. Next day, remove fat, taste, and if seems insipid, reduce by 20 - 25%. I usually make mushroom barley soup with my post-Thanksgiving turkey stock, with more onion, celery and carrot, potato, and some dried porcini along with the white or brown 'shrooms. Never had any complaints about it.