Monday, April 14, 2014

Try Turkey Broth Instead....

Those days when the twins were young and had just started out eating solids, my mom would often cook up a big pot of turkey broth, divide it up into small containers and bring the batch over to me frozen. Over the weeks, I would thaw a container to use as a base to make soup for baby pasta and noodles for their lunch and congee mixed with minced meat and vegetables for dinner. I remember the sweet smell of the homey broth simmering and the rich depth of sweet turkey flavour when giving it a taste. "I used a lot of turkey thigh meat and didn't add too much water. What you're tasting is pure turkey essence." My mom would use to say. She was right. When the broth was thawed it was essentially congealed. It was all condensed turkey goodness!

So I don't know why it took me so long, years later to make turkey broth at home- to switch occasionally from chicken carcass for turkey bones instead makes a whole lot of sense. It tastes delicious with a more pronounced sweetness than chicken and more amicably, it is so lean it yields just a small amount of fat. My mom recently gave me a package of healthy-looking skinless bone-in turkey thighs she picked up on sale and encouraged me to make some soup with it. She told me to add some beef bones as well. Yes the combination of mixed meat bones are essential for a great tasting broth, in this case the sweetness from turkey and the robust flavour of beef!

Having had that reconnection with turkey soup again, I picked up some meaty turkey and beef neck bones from a Chinese supermarket and with the pair, I made a base for noodle soup tonight. Here's what I did:

1) Bring a pot of water to a boil; add a teaspoon of salt and two slices of ginger. Add six turkey neck bones and three beef neck bones. Bring the water back to a boil for two to three minutes, then drain it over a strainer.

2) Rinse the bones under cold water and rub to rid any fat or debris especially from the beef bones. Discard the ginger slices.

3) Rinse the pot, adding the blanched bones with 2-inch more water to cover and 1 Tbsp. kosher salt; bring it to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low to cook for two hours. There should be very minimal scum and fat to skim.

The resulting clear white soup was so flavourful it was the centre of tonight's noodle soup meal so I wanted to keep the accompanying ingredients simple and straightforward. I added cooked Chinese yet-ga mein (long white dry wheat flour noodles), sliced hydrated shiitake mushrooms, sliced napa cabbage, scraped the meat off the hunky turkey and beef neck bones, some chopped green onions to serve on the side and that's it! Delicious and satisfying!!

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