My sister-in-law and her Cajun momma would be horrified to know this, but I never bother to save my turkey carcasses. For one thing, I never have room in my small freezer for them. For another, turkey soup just never sounded all that appealing to me, especially when it involved boiling up a carcass. I don't even own a pot that would hold an entire turkey carcass!
This year, as with the past several, my Thanksgiving feast centered around a pork dish, but I did break down and buy a smoked turkey breast as well, for those who felt it just wasn't Thanksgiving without it, and so we could enjoy a few turkey sandwiches later. I was about to toss the carcass when I realized there was still an awful lot of meat on it. Plus, the breast being much smaller than a whole turkey, I knew I could easily squeeze it into my freezer drawer. So in it went, until I could decide what to do with it. A couple of days later a light bulb went off, and I suddenly remembered the recipe for Turkey Enchilada Verde Soup that Lisa Fain had posted on her blog Homesick Texan a few days before. I remembered thinking, "now there's a turkey soup I could actually get on board with!" So, I moved the carcass back up to the refrigerator to defrost, listed everything I would need to make it, and headed off to San Marcos to do some shopping.
The only problem was that, after four hours of Christmas shopping I was exhausted, and could hardly bear the thought of heading over to the ginormous HEB that is always packed with college kids. The first half of the recipe involves making salsa verde from scratch, but it does give you the option of using canned tomatillos if you can't find fresh. I was still in Target at the time, and though this store didn't cary any fresh produce, they did have some canned goods. I ran over to the grocery section to see if I could nab me some tomatillos. Nope, 'fraid not, but I did find a big ol' jar of Herdez Salsa Verde, already prepared. I weighed my options and decided, what the hey, it's worth a try.
The little turkey breast "frame" fit perfectly into the oval Le Creuset pot that Santa brought last year, and it only took about 30 minutes of simmering it in water to end up with enough good broth and all the meat I needed for the soup. Plus, by skipping the whole bit about making your own salsa, the rest of the recipe came together in a jiff! I thought it was delicious myself, but what really tickled me to death was that my hubby, whose taste buds were severely affected by a stroke last Christmas, and who has all but lost his enjoyment of food, said "Know what Beck? That was actually pretty good!" Happy Dance! Happy Dance!
P.S. Speaking of doing the Happy Dance, did you see those two little tomatoes on the counter next to my soup pot? That's my first harvest from the new covered beds we tried out this fall. So far, the deer and raccoons haven't paid them any mind whatsoever, even though they are sitting right out there in the open. Woohoo! There's a bunch of larger tomatoes about ready to come ripe. I probably should have gone ahead and picked them green, since we were due to dip down into the 30s last night, but I just couldn't do it. I decided to drape the mesh tents with sheets instead, and see what happened. Fingers crossed!