Maybe it's this way in your house, too -- in my house, we prize leftover turkey just as much as the bird carved on the holiday table. The carcass transforms into quarts of stock, and the meat fills any number of sandwiches, stir-fries and soups. This turkey soba noodle soup from Jeanette's Healthy Living is just the kind of post-holiday-indulgence soup I like to make. Think of it as a healthy cleanse, a way for your body to regroup and restore energy for the holiday shopping ahead. If you're eating gluten-free, be sure to read the ingredients on the package of buckwheat noodles. Some are 100 percent buckwheat (and gluten-free), others contain wheat flour.
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After a cathartic hour cleaning out my freezer last week, I realized that the stockpile of homemade soup stock I assumed was hiding in the back, buried under sugar-free ice pops and waffles and bags of slow-roasted tomatoes, was gone, finito, used up, nowhere. Yes, I make stock every week, and yes, one of my slow cookers seems to have a rotisserie chicken carcass permanently embedded in the ceramic insert, yet I had far less chicken stock on hand than I thought I did, I was out of beef and vegetable stocks altogether, and I longed for some of the aromatic corn stock I made this summer.
'Twas a sorry state of affairs.
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If I were hiring someone to work in my kitchen (and, really, who hasn't fantasized about having his or her very own sous chef to do all of the prep work?), the test I'd give would be the test of stock. Mastery of basic soup stocks -- chicken, beef, fish and vegetable -- identifies a really good soup maker. Best of all, it's easy peasy to make your own stock. Though I often start with a rotisserie chicken carcass, today's chicken stock from scratch is the real deal: a whole chicken, some vegetables, a few peppercorns, and plenty of water. (Yes, technically, this is more a broth than a stock, because I include the meat as well as bones.) I never salt my stock, so I can season to taste when making soup. I like to use my large 7-quart slow cooker (crockpot) for this, but I've included stove top directions as well. Either way, you'll end up with a rich stock, and some boiled chicken meat that's perfect for a chicken salad sandwich.
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