Sunday, April 22, 2012

Turkey Breast Stock (Page 386)

RECIPE #1291

  • Date: Sunday, April 8, 2012 -- 1:30pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Fellow Chefs: Chris and Mike
  • Dining Companions: Matty, Karen H, Dave, Brad, Deniz, Mike M, Teresa, Sami, Kendra, Watson
  • Recipe Rating: B

I would have made this recipe long ago, but it was a component of a crazy turkey concoction which I saved for the end of the project. So, this recipe ended up being one of the final three! It was a super simple recipe. Mike, Chris, and I threw the turkey bones leftover from the crazy turkey concoction (more on how those bones were acquired in the next post!) into a pot along with carrots, celery, onions, cloves, and water and we brought it to a simmer. Then we added peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, and parsley stems. We simmered it until it had reduced a bit and them poured it through a fine-mesh sieve. That was all there was to it! This stock went into the sauce for the turkey dish. The sauce turned out excellent, but in order to rate this stock recipe I also tasted the stock on its own. The stock had a nice flavor to it, but it wasn't as rich or deeply flavorful as a typical turkey or chicken stock, and it had a thin mouthfeel. That was no doubt because a) it only simmered for an hour and a half, which is very little time for a stock, and b) I usually make turkey stock with carcasses from roasted turkeys, and this stock was made from the bones of raw turkey breasts. As one would expect, a cooked turkey carcass has a lot of additional flavor. That said, the flavor of this stock was good, although mild, and it was very quick and easy to make. The sauce that we made out of it was very tasty.

This recipe isn't online. 

Only 2 recipes left to go!

It only seemed right to finish off this project with a bang! So Easter weekend friends and family joined us from Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, England, Chicago... and we had a feast! It was a crazy, chaotic, exhausting, and wonderful weekend! First a quick breakdown of events starting with Thursday night.

Thursday evening:

5pm: Start the pork marinating for the bacon

7pm: Third trip to grocery store for supplies

8:30pm: Try desperately to fit groceries into the very-crowded refrigerator

9pm-Midnight: Alternate between cleaning the house and trying to get work done


9am - 1:30pm: Teach 3 classes (my 2 and one for my colleague Bob who was out of town)

2-3pm: Church for Good Friday

3-5pm: Frantic cleaning

5pm: Chris arrives (close friend from graduate school)

6pm: Make sushi rice salad for dinner

7pm: Mike arrives (another close friend from graduate school)

8-11pm: Go to broadway touring production of Les Miserables with Chris, Mike, and my special gentleman


9am - 11am: Cook breakfast, start prepping food with Chris, watch Mike and my special gentleman assemble special grill for bacon-smoking

11am - 7pm:  Smoke bacon! Check bacon ever 30 minutes or so for 8 hours. Try to find time to make it to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Target, and Meijer for last minute supplies, within the 90 minute intervals between adding sawdust to the bacon smoker.

1pm: Lovely package arrives from France with candy and well-wishes for the weekend from our good friends Helen, Charles, and Clara, who are currently living in Paris.

3pm-6pm:  Stuff turkey with turkey (and bacon, pork, ham and pistachios). First step: deboning turkey breasts -- not as easy as it sounds. Try to ignore the fact that at some point there was raw turkey juice EVERYWHERE and I was pureeing turkey and bacon in the food processor. Yes, pureeing. Make turkey stock, Assemble nasty looking turkey concoction. Meanwhile, keep checking bacon.

3pm: Brad, Deniz, and Hannah arrive (my brother-in-law, m sister-in-law, and my niece) along with Hanby and Wellie (their dogs)

3:15pm: Watch hysterical interactions between our cats and their dogs  

4pm: Dave and Karen arrive (my in-laws)

6pm: Mike, Teresa, and Sami arrive (our good friends from my post-doc years in Indiana)

6:15pm: Realize that there is no way I am making dinner for all of these people given that a) the entire kitchen is covered in raw turkey juice and b) I am already exhausted.

6:20pm: Order pizza

7pm-midnight: Eat pizza, continue prepping and cooking for Sunday with babies, dogs, and cats underfoot, try to find space for everyone to sleep, play Apples to Apples.


7am: More cooking. Prep french toast, lentil salad, fruit, fritatta, sauce for turkey, etc, etc... Start cooking the crazy turkey concoction (which looked like huge grubs -- pictures forthcoming in later posts)

10-11:30am: Easter service at church with Karen and Mike 

11:30am - 1pm: Everyone frantically cooks or cleans or fries bacon or sets the table or hides Easter eggs, or... 

1pm: Kendra, Watson, and Georgina arrive

1pm-4pm: Easter brunch! Eating the last recipes from the project! Story-telling about past Book triumphs and disasters! Champagne drinking! Egg hunt!

4pm: Mike, Brad, Deniz, Hannah, Hanby, and Wellie leave

4pm - Midnight: Hanging out with remaining company, playing at the park, playing board games, cleaning, etc...


7am: Awake again, getting ready for the day.

8am: Cook breakfast for Chris, Mike, Teresa, Sami, Karen, and Dave

10am: Throw out all houseguests (except Chris who stayed all week) and head to work for a very long day, which included teaching, office hours, seminars, and meetings until 9pm. Eat both lunch and dinner at my desk. Feel very thankful for the delicious leftovers.

9pm - midnight: Come home from work. Sit on couch with a glass of white wine and a basket of Easter candy, exhausted. 

And now, a few pictures! My in-laws with my niece Hannah, who is looking excited about her very first Easter:


Me on Easter making caramelized onion, tomato, basil frittatas, shortly before we ate:

My special gentleman, looking very serious as he cooks:

Chris with a pan of baked French Toast, and Mike rinsing off something:

The table, complete with champagne glasses. Thanks to Kendra and Deniz for bringing champagne! There was definitely cause for celebration as we ate the last three Book recipes!

A few food pictures. Here are the frittatas:

... and lentil salad, bacon, fruit, grilled brussels sprouts...

...and grilled asparagus, French toast, and turkey ballotine. There was a lot of food!

After we ate we had an egg hunt in the backyard! Here's Hannah, working on the easiest egg hunt ever:

And after the egg hunt, there was candy-eating! Sami may have had a few pieces of chocolate:

By that point, I was tired! Here I am sitting down to take a little rest with my niece:

I wasn't the only one who was worn out. Here's my brother-in-law Brad with Hanby:

Sami was pretty sleepy too...

In summary: the weekend was CRAZY! And exhausting. But it was tremendous fun, and there were definitely some moments over the weekend that were absolutely perfect (e.g. 4 PhDs trying to figure out how to use a chimney starter to get the charcoal ready for the bacon smoking. I laughed so hard I cried). The weekend was certainly chaotic, but it felt right to have a big crowd in the kitchen at all times. It was a team effort, as so much of this project has been. More details about the turkey and the bacon are forthcoming in the next couple posts, as well as more thoughts about the end of the project!

Special thanks to Deniz and Georgina who took many of the pictures above! And an enormous thank-you to everyone who came to cook and eat the last project recipes! It was wonderful having you with us.

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