Pressure Cooker Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Carcass Soup
Save the bones!
Time again for my Thanksgiving rallying cry. Every year, I beg you to save the carcass from your turkey. Why? So you can make my favorite soup ever, day-after-Thanksgiving turkey carcass soup.
This is my favorite Thanksgiving tradition. Every year, after all the dishes were done, my dad would pull out the gigantic enamelware pot – the one designed for entire clambakes. Into the big pot went all the turkey bones, onions, celery, and carrots. The pot would simmer on low overnight; the next day, the house smelled like heaven.
This is my take on dad’s big pot of turkey carcass soup. I make mine in the pressure cooker, of course. My pressure cooker is my favorite way to make broth, and that is the first step in the recipe. I reach for my bigger pressure cooker – 8 quarts is good, and if you have bigger, use it. The broth part of the recipe yields 4 quarts of broth, and we only use 2 quarts in the soup. I freeze the excess, and use it to make a quick weeknight pot of noodle soup a few months later. In the middle of January, a warm pot of soup on a weeknight is a blessing.
The tricky part of this is making the turkey carcass fit in the pot. Actually, I should say “the messy part”, not the tricky part. It’s not hard, if you’re willing to rip and tear and get dirty. (I do use a pair of kitchen scissors to help cut through bones.) I cut the backbone out of the carcass, like I’m butterflying the turkey, then break up the larger pieces enough to get them below the max fill line. 1
No pressure cooker? No worries. Instead of an hour under pressure, simmer the turkey broth on the stovetop (or, even better, in a 200°F oven) for 4 to 6 hours. The soup part of the recipe is non-pressured; it works just as easily on the stovetop as it does in an electric pressure cooker.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Day-After-Thanksgiving Turkey Carcass Soup
Video Time Lapse
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker…I go with my bigger, 8 quart Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
- Kitchen scissors or poultry shears
- Fine mesh strainer
- No pressure cooker? No worries. Make the broth by putting everything in a large oven safe pot, bringing it to a boil on the stovetop, then cooking it in a 200°F oven for 4 hours. (Or, simmer on the stove for 4 hours – but the oven method is less work.)
- This is a great make-ahead meal – step one can be completed in advance, leaving about fifteen minutes of actual cooking time. Stock can be refrigerated for up to three days, or frozen for months.
- It also makes great leftovers – freeze the soup in 2 cup containers, and you have a lunch from the microwave in about 6 minutes.
- You don’t want to make turkey stock, but you still want soup? Sigh. I guess you can use two quarts of store bought chicken broth. But…it’s so easy…try making your own stock, just once, then see if that cardboard carton of stock seems like a good idea.
- Don’t be tempted to add more noodles to the soup. They will look lost in all that broth when you first put them in the pot. Don’t do it! The noodles soak up the broth as they cook; any more, and you’re left with noodle stew, not soup.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
What should you use that extra 2 quarts of turkey broth with? Here are a few suggestions:
Turkey Soup with Chickpeas and Vegetables
Southwestern Turkey and Black Bean Soup
Turkey Ramen Soup
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes
My other Pressure Cooker Time Lapse Videos
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This is where a larger pressure cooker comes in – I don’t have to break up the carcass as much in a larger cooker.↩