Slow cookers, ah the joy of a well cooked meal with little effort at all behind it. If you can toss ingredients into a pot and hit a button you can do this! Almost sounds too good to be true half the time but it's true and it's a simple pleasure to have around on the most busy days. If you don't have a slow cooker get one! They are worth the money and I will show you this over the course of the next month.
On to the first recipe!
The idea behind this recipes is using up Thanksgiving leftovers but you can chicken as well. I don't just mean save the meat but the bones , the pieces of vegetables you didn't use and everything in between. This will make your base.
Take your turkey bones ( meat should still be on a little bit) or chicken and place it into a large pot ( you may do this in a crock pot the day before you need the soup) Whatever vegetables scraps you have grab those as well and toss them in there. Heat this in the crock for about 8 hours until the meat has come off the bone you have a rich broth. For the pot simply boil and heat till meat falls off. Should take an hour .
Next step is straining the broth. You will strain everything out so all you have is liquid.I had a huge turkey and boiled it twice getting about 16 cups of broth. After straining place the broth into the slow cooker. You are ready to make some soup!
I added in about a cup of left over collard greens into the soup!
Depending on the size of your crock-pot adjust your servings this is for a 7 quart size pot.
bag of egg noodles
2-3 cups leftover meat either turkey or chicken will do
1 large onion chopped
2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves of garlic minced
Turkey Broth ( I used about 7 cups)
Pepper to taste
*you really don't need to add salt. If you seasoned your turkey or chicken that flavor is in the meat that was still on the bone so that made a nice seasoned broth already. Taste it before you add salt in.
Place the meat and the vegetables in the crock-pot. Fill the crock up with your broth leaving an inch from the top. Cover and heat on low for about 5 hours. Add in the noddles and cover again, cook for about a half hour or until the noddles are soft .
If you don't want to make your own broth just use store bought .
*Tip* When ever you have cooked a chicken, turkey or even a ham with a bone in it don't toss the leftovers away. Boil up the bones the next day and use that for another meal. The ham can make a great broth for beans, chicken and turkey make great broths for soups of any kind. You can also freeze the broth in freezer ziplock bags or even ice trays. Remember to strain the broth before storing.
For the bags-
Label the bags with date and name. Fill the bags with cooled broth and get the air out then lay flat in the freezer to freeze. Laying them flat makes a great space saver. When you need the broth you can take it out the night before and simply let it defrost over night.
For ice trays-
Fill trays with cooled broth and freeze. When all done take the broth cubes and place them in a bag. Now whenever you cook and need extra flavor simply take a cube out and put it into whatever you are cooking. You can freeze broth up to a year.
More Crock-Pot Recipes to come so stay tuned!