Smoked Turkey - Revisited
We always have the meat department cut our frozen turkeys in half, (lengthwise) and smoke one half only. We brine both, (thawed) halves and reserve one for fresh meat to add into soups, stews, gumbos etc.
When the smoked portion is done, the breast meat (and an occasional drumstick,) is removed and reserved for meals, sandwiches, salads etc. The unsmoked half is stripped of the breast which is reserved, roasted in a conventional way and used/served as above. The remaining meat, (legs, thighs, belly etc) is cut into bite sized chunks and reserved. (Dark meat has much more flavour in soups, stews and gumbos.)
Now, both carcasses are chopped into small pieces and placed in a large stock pot accompanied by the usual ingredients, onion, carrot, celery, bay etc. Bits and pieces of flesh, cartilage and skin are added in. This is simmered for roughly 6 hours. The liquid is then strained off and the solids discarded. At this point the liquid can be reduced or used as is. Unless you are a, “No Fat” aficionado, leave the natural fat which adds most of the flavour to this type of procedure. When mixed with flour or cornstarch at the end of the process, it will be undectible except for the taste.
The rest is pretty much up to personal preference. We love a hearty gumbo or stew. The reserved, chopped meat will provide a huge amount of taste, texture and smoky flavour. Add prawns or scampi if you wish. Okra is almost mandatory and corn is desirable, (in our house.)