Sunday, November 28, 2010

Everyday Yumminess: Turkey Pozole

Last year as I made my turkey stock, I knew I wanted to do something with it other than traditional Thanksgiving-y flavors. I stumbled upon a recipe for Turkey Pozole at Food & Wine and knew it was the perfect thing to do with my homemade stock and leftover turkey. It is now officially part of my tradition.
Things start, of course, with a beautiful turkey stock. (I should note here that I had a 25-pound turkey and ended up making 18 servings (!) of this pozole, so scale everything listed here according to your favorite way of making stock and the number of servings you want to end up with...) I didn't have as much celery left over from stuffing as I did last year, so I used a couple celery roots, which add a nice depth of flavor. I also added the ends of the leeks from my stuffing (waste not, want not, etc...).
Usually I roast off my carcass and other bones for additional flavor, but I had to do this under the broiler this year since my oven was broken. Non-ideal, but it turned out pretty well.
Veggies are chopped, the carcass is hacked up, and it all goes into a big pot. I added about 3 gallons of cold water to the pot at this point...
I turned the heat to just above medium, which meant it took about an hour for the liquid to come to a simmer. I then allowed it to simmer for a little over 5 hours before chucking it in the fridge overnight. This is what awaited me in the morning:
Yuck. I used a spider to get the big hunks out, then prepared for my 3-part straining process.
First, the liquid is passed through a fine sieve into a fat separator (this is my favorite fat separator around, since it uses physics to keep fat out of the pour spout), then the fat is removed. It only ended up being about 1/2 cup of fat for the 10 quarts of stock that the recipe produced, but it's still worth getting rid of it.
After this initial straining and fat removal, I poured the stock through a couple layers of paper towels to get rid of finer particles... Gross.
At this point, I had 10 quarts of beautiful, clear, rich turkey stock.
I packed up 4 quarts for the freezer (the fifth one below ended up in the soup in the end...) for future use, and got to work on the Pozole.
Part of the initial appeal of this recipe last year was how very simple it is. I would have preferred to use dry hominy instead of canned, but I didn't have enough in the pantry and I was also feeling pretty crappy (sinus infection and whatnot...), so I went with canned. I used three 28-ounce cans of white hominy, 6 large tomatoes, and 5 jalepeños in this batch. (Again, this is for 18 servings and wasn't all that spicy, so I would probably add more jalepeños. Scale accordingly...)
Jalepeños are minced, tomatoes diced, and hominy cans opened...
... then it all goes into a pot with 6 quarts of turkey stock and simmers for about an hour. Your kitchen will smell fantastic during this time. After simmering, I added 14 cups of chopped leftover turkey, heated through, and my soup was ready to go. All that was left was garnish prep. Paper-thin radish slices, shredded green cabbage, and a few lime wedges are the perfect accompaniments to pozole. (Plus a little Mexican oregano if you're in the mood...)
That's it. The perfect post-Thanksgiving soup.
I love that this recipe takes advantage of leftovers while providing a completely new flavor profile... Plus, I love pozole, so I am happy to have copious amounts of this delicious turkey pozole in my chest freezer to enjoy throughout the winter. If you're still pondering what to do with your turkey carcass and leftover meat, I highly recommend giving this a try.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW! This looks incredible. I'm going to have to try it!