Thanksgiving really is a time for giving thanks. Even in times of hardship and trial, we will always have reason for giving thanks. Part of being grateful is taking advantage of every opportunity that is given us. At the most elevated level we can appreciate, God, family, working hard, achieving what we set out to do and being satisfied with our accomplishments. At the most basic level I find myself being grateful in finding ways to “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
In addressing the “use it up” part, I would like to remind you to use up your turkey this Thanksgiving feast. After you have consumed turkey to your hearts content, and had a variety of meals using turkey leftovers, don’t forget to “use up” the turkey bones.
After all is said and done and you are tempted to throw the leftover bones, skin, fat and the gelled broth – don’t. Instead throw them into a large soup pot, fill the pot with water and throw some salt in. Place on a medium heat and let it boil on low for anywhere from an hour to two hours. You can also add other herbs and spices like garlic, onions, sage, oregano, basil, or whatever else sounds good or smells better. Add salt and pepper to taste.
After you have retrieved all of the flavor from the bones, skin and fat, strain it through a colander and then again through a sieve. If you are truly diligent, before throwing the bones away, you can go over them and find the meat that was left clinging to the bones. Actually, if you take the time, there is usually quite a lot of meat left behind from the initial meal and leftovers. If you are too tired, then you can throw them away.
At this point in time you can do several things to save the flavorful broth. You can immediately make a delicious Chicken Noodle soup with homemade noodles, or even better yet, Danish Dumplings. Mmm, sooo very good. Both recipes are in the recipe section of this website and are quick and easy to make.
Straining the broth through the sieve will remove most of the fat, but if you want to remove all of the fat, the best and easiest way is to put it in the fridge and let it get cold. All of the fat will congeal on top of the broth and it will be easy to remove with a spoon or fork.
Now that the broth is fat free, but full of taste, you can either bottle it or put it in a freezer bag or container and freeze it. If you want to freeze it, just put it in a freezer tight container or freezer bag and place it in the freezer. If I am using the bags, I like to lay them flat so that they stack nicely and don’t take up too much space.
If you don’t have space in your freezer or when you want to use it you don’t want to wait for it to thaw, then your best option is to bottle it. Bottling chicken broth, or any broth for that matter, is a very simple procedure. After you have cooled the broth down and have removed the fat, heat it back up to a boil. Pour the hot strained broth into hot jars, leaving 1-inch head space. Adjust the caps and process – pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes at 10 pounds pressure in a pressure canner. That is all there is to it.
Now to end on a sweet note. I have a friend who shared this delectable recipe that I thought you might want to try for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
1 C. oil
2 C sugar
sift together: 3 C flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp., baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt
1 C buttermilk
1 C. coconut
1 C. nuts
Bake 325 for 1 hour or till done. Poke holes with toothpick all over the top. Pour all of the glaze over the holes and let it cool for a while.
Glaze: 1 C sugar, 1/2 C water, 2 tablespoons butter, bring to boil, add 1 tsp., coconut flavor.
After it is cooled, gather your family together and enjoy this tasty homemade treat – and maybe you could even talk about all of the things you have to be grateful for.