Joe Drozda and Bob Bley are writing the third edition of The Tailgater’s Handbook which will be published in 2014. Drozda is considered the “Father of American Tailgating” by many including The Wall Street Journal. Drozda and Bley both grew up in NW Indiana and attended Indiana University together.
It’s a few days after Thanksgiving and chances are, you are going to be having a cool—even cold-weather—tailgate. This may be the perfect opportunity for a delicious treat using food you already have on hand. Why not use what’s left of the Thanksgiving turkey as the basic ingredient for a warm and hearty gourmet soup! Starting with the stock, here’s our favorite recipe.
Preparing Soup Stock:
1. Remove and set aside all the usable meat from the turkey carcass for adding to the soup later.
2. Breakup the larger bones of the carcass so they don't take as much room in the pot. Put all the bones and skin into a large stockpot and cover with cold water, plus an inch. Add drippings that weren't used to make gravy, and non-liver giblets that haven't been used. Add a yellow onion that has been quartered, some chopped carrots, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, celery tops and some peppercorns.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to bring the liquid to a bare simmer. Skim off any floaties as they rise to the surface.
4. Add about 1 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. of pepper (this depends on how big your turkey is - you can always add salt/pepper later).
5. Cook for at least 4 hours (uncovered or partially uncovered) so the stock reduces, occasionally skimming off any foam from the surface.
6. Remove the bones and veggies and strain the stock through a very fine mesh strainer.
With the stock made, add chopped carrots, onions, and celery in equal parts. Add some parsley and a couple cloves of garlic; then add seasonings: poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram and/or a chicken bouillon cube.
Cook at a bare simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. Take plenty of the remaining turkey meat you reserved earlier and cube it into bite-sized pieces and add to the soup; then salt and pepper to taste.
Sometimes a dash or two of Frank’s cayenne pepper sauce gives the soup a nice little kick. Cool the soup overnight in the fridge or outside on your porch or deck, assuming the temperature is cold enough.
The morning of the game, you should spoon off any fat from the top of the soup pot before heating. Boil a large bag (16 oz.) of wagon wheel noodles (Aldante). Heat the soup and once it is hot, add the cooked noodles. Pack the soup pot in a cooler surrounded by towels and newspaper. This cooler will keep it warm traveling to the game or, if possible, you can reheat it on your grill or stove in the parking lot. Serve with slices from a French baguette for dipping. For a final touch on what is probably the last tailgate of the season, you can serve slices of your pumpkin or other holiday pies for dessert.