I’m always one to find new ways to re-use and or recycle things, even food.
Make left overs, or extra servings into a whole other meal. Left over mashed potatoes can be cookies, left over squash can be put into bread or brownies, gravy can be frozen and used as flavoring the next time it’s needed in a meal. Did you know you can freeze tomato sauce, even just a little into ice cube trays and use it whenever you want? I do this, Add the frozen cubes of tomato sauce into a skillet of browned beef to start some sloppy joes!
This Thanksgiving I was set on using every thing and not let an ounce go to waste. It’s re-using, and or recycling it down for use. Since I already use ham and chicken this way I figured why not try to use the turkey as well. I normally take off as much meat as I can from both a ham bone or chicken but still leave some on. Set the bone in a pot with left over vegetables (or just their scraps. you know the ends of celery, or the left over stalk you normally toss in the garbage? The tops of carrots or the skins of carrots you peeled off) ) and boil it up till the last pieces of meat fall off the bone, what’s left is a rich full flavored broth. It takes anywhere from 3-6 hours in my slow cooker. . With the chicken I freeze the broth, use it whenever I need to. The Ham is used with beans pretty much right away, or any greens that need to cook for awhile and get to soak up the flavorful broth just made.
There really isn’t a “recipe” for this. Just tossed things into a slow cooker.
Here’s how I made the White Bean Turkey Soup-
After taking off as much meat as I could from the turkey on Thanksgiving I set the leftovers aside for the next day. Soaked some small white beans and placed the left over turkey bone, into the slow cooker. I have a large one so didn’t really need to break it apart, it fit real tight but if you have a smaller slow cooker you may want to break it in half to have it fit. Filled it with water and left over chicken broth, leaving just about two inches from the top and set it on high. Added a bunch of carrots , celery, onions and garlic gloves in there as well. It cooked like that for five and a half hours, before I strained out all the bones and skin.
After straining the broth , I rinsed the beans which had soaked for the same time the turkey had cooked and placed them into the slow-cooker. Keeping it on high the beans cooked for another five hours. You don’t have to cook it all in the same day, you can save the broth , freeze it use it another day or what ever works for you.
It came out amazing! I thought about thickening it, in which you’d pour a mixture of flour/water into the slow cooker about forty minutes before you’d want it done, but decided against it. Glad I did, it was perfect for me the way it is. It was buttery, rich, creamy and the beans were so good! I think this will be a
post- Thanksgiving must each year from now on!
Have any post Thanksgiving meals you want to share? 🙂