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After Thanksgiving Turkey Chowder

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I've never made turkey chowder before. I'll have plenty of meat leftover and will keep the carcas for soup. Can you share your favorite recipe? I'd like a thick soup with corn. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. Have you made turkey stock before? It is not as rich or gelatinous as homemade chicken stock, even if raw turkey is used. Starting with a carcass and cooked meat, no raw, will give you a browner stock but if you simmer it for a long time you can get grayish color, and a minerally finish, from the bones. That said, I am incapable of tossing a carcass that hasn't been through the stockpot.
    My solution is to use half beef broth (made from Better than Bouillon) and half homemade turkey stock to make French onion soup. It's my favorite liquid for onion soup.

    2 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      Thanks, grey! I had visions of putting the carcas in a pot after Thanksgiving. I guess I should just be using the chopped turkey (which there will be plenty of).

      1. re: DaisyM

        Well no, you should include the carcass but don't expect as full a flavor as you would get with chicken. Definitely use any leftover skin, giblets, neck, and the cartilaginous parts. You can pull out the bones once the meat has released from them. It would be a good idea to add whatever chicken parts are on sale - maybe a couple of pounds. Do you have a pasta pot with a strainer insert? That makes stock-making easy - no splashing as you try to pour a mass of bone and veg through a colander.

    2. My secret to a great post-Thanksgiving turkey soup is to throw in the leftover gravy (I use Alton Brown's gravy recipe) and let that do the thickening. I do make stock with the carcass, having first cleaned the carcass of usable meat--I just simmer it for maybe 30 minutes, not more, and I have never noticed a bad flavor. I start with sauteeing some onion and celery, then add the stock, the chopped meat that I took off the carcass, mushrooms (whatever kind I happen to have), thyme, carrots, and at the end any leftover wild rice, heavy cream, or half-and-half. Every year it's a little different but it's always good.

      1. I always put the turkey carcass in my stockpot for stock once we are finished with dinner. It makes fabulous stock. I can it the day after TG.

        1. Go to your local supermarket and ask for their leftover turkey necks and feet from all those prepackaged and prepared Turkey dinners they've been selling. Should be at most a minimal cost, if not entirely free.

          Then use those necks and feet along with your carcass to make stock. Then roast your choice of veggies (carrots, celery, corn, etc.) along with some potatoes and onions, add to pot, and make a roux and/or some milk, along with your turkey stock. I like to add a dash of buttermilk, but YMMV. Simmer for about 30 minutes and then serve with a nice crusty bread.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Excellent advice, everyone. Smart to roast the vegetables, I probably would have sauteed. I'll use the carcass and also some of the gravy. Now I'm more excited about the soup, then the actual turkey.

            1. re: DaisyM

              I am usually more excited about the soup than the turkey. I like turkey just fine (especially since I cook it and get to snitch as much turkey skin as I want) but soup is a staple food for me!

          2. One trick with using any carcass that I employ is after I've removed all the meat off the bones I get out my big vice grips and crush all the bones especially the leg/wing bones. There's a lot of good flavor in those bones. I never use celery but any other veg cut into large pieces. No salt. Very low/slow simmer for about six hours. Never ever boil. Cool over night and strain through cheese cloth. Remove all large veg pieces. Discard the bones. Add the veg pieces back to stock. Stick blend. Now the stock is ready to use in the chowder. Oh yeah I also add any gravy/potatoes/dressing leftovers back to stock before I stick blend. Warning! Be very careful not to let any little bone splinters from crushing the bones into the stock. I always strain the finished stock through a strainer. I did find a couple of splinters one time.