Monday, November 27, 2006

Roasted Vegetables In Rich Brown Turkey Broth

Ahhh! Just what is needed after the indulgences of Thanksgiving. Oven roasted, slightly caramelized, cauliflower, broccoli, garlic and carrots in a de-fatted, rich brown broth made from the Thanksgiving turkey carcass. In the past, I've made more substantial turkey soups using barley or potatoes, onions and other high carb starchy veggies. But this year my only slightly older body cried out for lighter, lower carb fare.

Our rather small 14-pound turkey was rotisseried over our gas grill this year by the Mastergriller himself. Something he hadn't tried before. It turned out surprisingly well. After rubbing the outside of the bird all over with olive oil, he sprinkled on NapaStyle Toasted Spice Rub and kosher salt, patting them well into the skin. He stuffed the cavity with halves of lemons, sprigs of fresh rosemary and fresh sage leaves. The trussed and spitted bird was placed in the grill at 500 degrees for just a few minutes, then the temp was lowered to 350, the rotisserie turning all the while, for 2 1/2 hours. This turned out to be about 1/2 hour too long, but still the meat was delicious, perfumed with the toasted spices, herbs and lemon.

Later the herb-y carcass was put into a stock pot along with deeply browned pieces of skin, the wings and drumsticks, the herbs from the cavity, a chopped sweet onion, some celery, carrots, allspice berries, whole black peppercorns and 2 gallons of water, all cooked down to a delicious, complex broth. Allowed to cool overnight in the fridge, the fat that had congealed on the surface was easily removed leaving a luscious, thick brown liquid that needed nothing more than a bit of salt to make the flavors shine.

Then, in a large roasting pan, florettes of broccoli and cauliflower, peeled garlic cloves and baby carrots were drizzled with olive oil, dried thyme, kosher salt and freshly ground Tellicherry pepper and roasted in a 375 degree oven until soft and browned, bringing out the sweet, toasty flavors of the veggies and the soft nuttiness of the garlic.

I kept the broth separate from the vegetables, combining them just before sitting down to eat by bringing the broth to a simmer and adding the roasted veggies and diced pieces of leftover turkey, leaving them in the pot just long enough to become hot. I could eat this forever.