Thursday, November 25, 2010

Overnight Oven Stock and Turkey Leek Soup

It has always been m habit to make stock with the remains of my Thanksgiving turkey (I previously posted my stock recipe here). I freeze most of it, and usually give some away. A couple of days after Thanksgiving last year Michael Ruhlman posted two recipes. The first was his Turkey Stock: Oven Method and the other was a Turkey Leek Soup that could be made with the stock. I prepared both recipes, and address them separately, below.

n.o.e.'s notes, overnight turkey stock:

- You can find the stock and soup recipes here.

- There are several advantages to using this method for cooking stock. First, it is cooked on very low heat for a very long slow cooking time. Ruhlman says 8 to 16 hours in the oven. That gives a lot of flexibility and does not keep you tied to the stove, to wakefulness, or, indeed even to your house while the stock cooks. The temperature is low enough that you can sleep or run errands without the fear that the house will burn down in your absence.

- Perhaps my favorite part of this recipe is that it begins with bones plus water, that is all. Eventually, after the pot has a long stint in a slow oven, at your convenience you add some aromatic vegetables and seasonings. Then you can return the stove to the oven for several more hours, or you can finish it more quickly in the conventional manner on top of the stove. This suits me because for some reason I'm always very pressed for time when I'm trying to make stock, and find it difficult to find the time to chop and peel the vegetables at the beginning of the process of stock-cooking.

- I always add all of the optional flavoring ingredients to the stock.

- One tip: your oven might decide to turn itself off after a certain number of hours, so if you are heading out the door or going to sleep, I'd advise turning the oven off and re-starting it.

the verdict, stock:

Although I love my usual stock recipe once I made Ruhlman's stock with last Thanksgiving's turkey carcass I have not used any other method to make chicken or turkey stock in the intervening year. It is a far easier and more flexible way to cook stock, and the end result is as tasty as my previous recipe.

n.o.e.'s notes, turkey leek soup:

- As long as you have some leeks on hand, you can make this soup easily with leftover turkey meat and your wonderful fresh stock. You can also make it with stock you've stashed in your freezer, and an poultry scraps you might save, and leeks, of course.

- This soup was a snap to make, which was quite welcome after all of the cooking involved in Thanksgiving dinner.

the verdict, soup:

Leeks, the well-mannered, refined members of the onion family, lend a subtle note to this soup. It made a lovely light dinner served on Thanksgiving weekend with bread and salad on the side (and a little leftover pie to finish it off!)

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating today!


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I love the idea of the stock practically cooking itself in the oven overnight.

Kayte said...

Oh, this sounds really good...I remember you talking about this and thinking I needed to try I have the connect for the recipe and the lovely photo of the soup for inspiration so I better get to is soup season!! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for your friendship and many times this year they came Just When I Needed Them. Truly a blessing.

Jhonny walker said...

Thanks for such a detailed and informed post on making stocks. I always buy from store..but this sounds like my kind of thing..very useful..thank you :)

Unknown said...

I love this post Nancy! I've only made stock once, and to be honest, it was kind of a pain. This method definitely sounds like it is more up my alley. Too bad I didn't save any of those turkey bones :)

dharmagirl said...

oh, there's something so satisfying about making homemade stock. i've been on a veggie stock kick here and it makes such a big difference in my vegetarian soups:)