Amish cooks are resourceful and they'll use every morsel of something if it can saved, salvaged or hammered into food. The leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass is no exception and there are many ways it can be used!
🍗 Framing a Turkey
Amish cooks are known for their resourceful and thrifty ways, and they make the most of every part of their food, including the turkey frame. Here are a few ways that Amish cooks use the turkey frame:
- Turkey stock: The turkey frame is a great way to make a rich and flavorful turkey stock. Simply simmer the frame in water with some aromatics, such as onions, carrots, and celery, for a few hours. Strain the stock and use it as a base for soups, stews, sauces, and gravies.
- Turkey soup: A a homemade Turkey soup recipe is a classic comfort food, and it's even more flavorful when made with turkey stock. Simply add your favorite vegetables to the turkey stock and simmer until tender.
- Turkey stew: Turkey stew is another hearty and flavorful dish that can be made with the turkey frame. Simply add your favorite vegetables and meat to the turkey stock and simmer until tender.
- Turkey salad: Turkey salad is a versatile dish that can be used for sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Simply chop up the turkey meat from the frame and mix it with mayonnaise, celery, and your favorite seasonings.
- Turkey pot pie: Turkey pot pie is a classic comfort food that can be made with the turkey frame. Simply make a pot pie crust and fill it with turkey meat, vegetables, and gravy.
In addition to these specific dishes, Amish cooks also use the turkey frame to flavor other dishes, such as rice and stuffing. They may also use the bones to make bone broth, which is a nutritious and flavorful soup base.
By using the turkey frame in various ways, Amish cooks are able to get the most out of their food and avoid waste. This is a practice that is not only resourceful but also sustainable.
📋 Step-by-Step Turkey Frame Soup
While this is not an Amish recipe per se, it is in line with what many Amish cooks would do with a leftover turkey: make soup. There are a lot of turkey frame soup recipes, but this one is easy and basic and flavorful. And turkey frame soup sounds like better than "turkey carcass soup."
Reader Karen in North Carolina shared this with us and she said she has made this for over 30 years, and "it never disappoints. Sometimes I’ll roast a turkey solely to make this delicious soup." Karen wasn't sure of this recipes origins, but she accurately points out with a bounty of home-canned veggies to pick from, this recipe would be a natural for most Amish cooks. So enjoy!
You can doctor up the recipe to your taste by adding bay leaves, kosher salt, garlic or fresh parsley. This soup can be stored in an airtight container and frozen for months. Or just stick in the fridge for a couple of days. Make this is in a large soup pot or large stockpot and can add whatever veggies you want to do it. I think corn or green beans is a nice addition.
🍗 More Amish Turkey Recipes
There are plenty of ways to fix turkey
Nothing like turkey sausage and eggs!
Never have enough stuffing.
🖨️ Full Recipe
Amish Turkey Frame Soup
- 1 meaty turkey frame
- 12 cups water
- 1 onion, unpeeled, quartered (the onion skin imparts a lovely color to the broth)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 16-ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules (or 3 cubes)
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
- ½ teaspoon powdered thyme (or one teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Break up turkey frame.
- Put in large Dutch oven or stockpot with water, unpeeled quartered onion, and salt.
- Bring to boiling; reduce heat.
- Cover and simmer1 ½ hours. Remove frame onto large cutting board.
- When cool enough to handle, cut off meat and coarsely chop.
- Discard bones. Strain broth; discard solids. Return broth to pot.
- Stir in meat, undrained tomatoes, bouillon, oregano, thyme, and pepper. Stir in vegetables.
- Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 45 minutes.
- Add uncooked noodles or rice; simmer 8 to 10 minutes if using noodles, 25 minutes if using rice.
- Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if needed.
- This soup freezes beautifully.
- Recipe doubles easily for a large turkey frame. Note: If there is too much fat on top of the soup, it may be skimmed off when the soup is finished. A gravy or fat separator works perfectly for this.