Thursday, November 17, 2011
Of Cabbages and Kings - Turkey, Leftovers and Julia Child's Senegalaise Soup
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite..."The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbage and kings....." Even the Jabberwocky would be impressed by the amount of ground we are about to cover. So, relax, grab your favorite beverage and once you're comfortable, we'll start talking turkey, or lack thereof.
Many of you were surprised to learn that my holiday dinner plans did not include a turkey. Rest assured, there is nothing subversive or elitist in that decision. As it happens, there will be no children at the table this year, so I felt no compunction to prepare a ritual meal. I've made a lot of turkeys in my day. When my children were small, we had turkey at least once a month. Back then, turkeys weren't brined or salted, so roasting a bird was a simple undertaking. It was also a marvelously inexpensive way to feed a family. Some of you may be old enough to remember when supermarkets actually gave turkeys away during the holiday. Even in off-season, it was not unusual to find birds that cost 19 to 29 cents a pound. A lot of us ate a lot of turkey back in the day, and I suspect it lost its "special" status because of that. Those of you who worry about such things will be happy to know we had turkey for our dinner last night. While a just roasted bird may not be our favorite meal, the dishes made from its leavings number among those at the top of the list. This soup is one of them.
The soup, called Veloute De Volaille a La Senegalaise, is Julia Child's version of curried turkey soup. It is made from carcass stock, good curry powder and leftover vegetables. The finished soup is worthy of company and I guarantee it will impress your guests. As a matter of fact, I'll be serving it as a first course on Saturday night as a prelude to the star of the evening, a gorgeous beef filet . The soup is a two step process that I hope you'll try. I use a mild curry powder to make this. If you prefer to use one with more heat, proceed with caution. The soup can be made well ahead of time, though you'll want to film it with a light coat of cream to prevent a skin from forming. You can also freeze it.
Before moving onto the recipe, I wanted to let you know about a cookbook that has been written by a fellow blogger, Stephen Crout. Stephen's blog is called The Obsessive Chef and his new book, A Cook's Book for Cooks, can be purchased here. Stephen is a talented writer and while his book is more a dialogue on food than a standard recipe book, I think you'll find it both interesting and provocative.
Julia Child's Curried Turkey Soup - Veloute De Volaille a la Senegalaise...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Julia Child
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely minced onions
1-3 tablespoons curry powder
4-8 tablespoons flour (dependent on amount of mashed potatoes, if used)
5-6 cups poultry stock (see below)
Optional: leftover vegetables
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1 cup diced cooked turkey meat
4 tablespoons minced parsley or chives
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Stir in curry powder and cook slowly for 1 minute. Add onions and cook for about 10 minutes without browning. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Vigorously beat in poultry stock with a wire whisk. If you are using leftover mashed potatoes, they should be added at this time. Return soup to heat and whisk in cream, one tablespoon at a time, until soup is of desired thickness. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in turkey, herbs and up to 1 cup diced leftover vegetables, if using. Bring to a simmer just before serving. If soup is not to be served immediately or will be served cold, film surface with stock or cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill if to be served cold. Yield: 6 servings.
Julia Child's Poultry Stock
1 turkey carcass
2 to 3 pounds turkey necks, hearts and gizzards
2 tablespoons salt
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery stalk, roughly chopped
2 leeks, roughly chopped
2 peeled onions stuck with 2 cloves
1 large herb bouquet: 8 parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon thyme or sage
Chop up carcass and place in a large kettle with necks and other poultry parts. Cover by 2 inches of water. Add salt and bring to a simmer. Skim surface to remove scum for about 5 minutes, or until it almost ceases to rise. Add vegetables and herb bouquet and simmer, uncovered, for about 4 hours, skimming fat and scum as required. Add water if required to keep ingredients covered. Strain liquid into a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool uncovered, then chill. When chilled, scrape off surface fat. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Stock can be frozen.