Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Phở

This is such an easy way to run through that half-gallon of turkey stock you have gelling in your fridge, and it's a nice change of pace from the casseroles and sammiches. I'm sick of eating turkey, bread, mashed potatoes and gravy, and I'm sure you are too.

On Thanksgiving, we had a 16-pound turkey (for only 5 people), and I made 2 gallons of turkey stock from the carcass. This was way too much to store in my fridge or freezer, so I simmered the stock down to a scant 6 cups, and it really ended up with that velvety mouthfeel you normally associate with the unctuous oxtail broth typically used for phở. The large turkey also left us with a bag full of the confit legmeat and an entire roast breast with which to contend, and since turkey noodle soup is the third spoke of the Holy Trifecta of Thanksgiving Leftovers, I whipped up a version of phở gà, subbing turkey for chicken.

It takes a bit of time to prepare the broth, but it's worth it just for the way your house smells while it's simmering. Into a large pot, toss a few star anise pods, a 4" cinnamon stick, some charred/roasted shallots and ginger, some peppercorns and a couple of cloves, and two or three bay leaves. Toast these quickly in the pot until fragrant, then dump in the turkey (or chicken) stock. Simmer over low heat for an hour or so, replacing the water that evaporates. I also squirt in a tablespoon or so of nước mắm, and add a good pinch of salt and sugar.

Fill a bowl with fresh rice noodles (dried ones should be reconstituted in hot water for a minute first) and a fat wad of turkey meat. Ladle in the boiling-hot broth - this will heat the turkey and noodles and result in the perfect soup-eating temperature. Serve with mung bean sprouts, Thai basil and cilantro, lime wedges and sliced jalapeño, and I like a little sriracha hot sauce or sambal oelek and hoisin sauce on mine. Bon appétit!

32 comments:

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Wow you really did! Looks like you pulled it off. I have a whole vat of turkey stock sitting in the fridge, though I dunno if all the star anise and basil in the world will cover up the harissa and cinnamon in it.

Manggy said...

When I was much younger my eternally sweet tooth didn't appreciate the hot brothy goodness of pho (read: added tons of sriracha and hoisin sauce). I think your pho-to (see that? A pun AND an ANTM reference!) is inspiring me to give it another shot!

Jude said...

Probably the best use of turkey carcass. Pho is pho king good (sorry can't resist).

Núria said...

He, he... Jude was brilliant here :D!!!
We also get tones of leftovers after Xmas days... this soup is a great idea and I guess it can be reproduced with duck or chicken... thanks for the asiatic ideas.

Peter G said...

You certainly are creative with those leftovers. I've always considered pho a hassle to make but you've made it sound quite easy. (It's very addictive and tasty though!).

Bellini Valli said...

Excellent idea Heather:D

glamah16 said...

Oh I like the idea of a Pho. I craved soup yesterday and this would have hit the spot.

peter said...

I saw this pic on cakespotting and knew right away it was you before I even read the tag. Me wantey.

Heather said...

Marc - The cinnamon would be good, but yeah, the harissa might clash a bit. :D

Mark - You should always try things that you hated as a child when you're an adult! Don't you remember the moral of my Brussels sprouts post? :P

Jude - btw, I love that all the Asian boys commented in a row. Serendipity. Pho is pho king good. Muh pho king good.

Núria - God, duck pho would be amazing. Chicken is much more common than turkey.

Petah - It is a hassle if you don't already have gelatinous stock lying around the house. :)

Valli - I noticed you Canucks don't stretch out the Thanksgiving leftovers as far we do. Maybe you are smarter shoppers and don't get the giant turkey. :)

Courtney - Pho is my favorite noodle soup, so this was a good choice.

Jube - I got it on Foodgawker, but cakespotting hasn't officially Approved Of Me yet. Foodgawker is way more lenient to the non-cake posting.

matt wright said...

completely rocking. Great stuff!

Peter M said...

Heather, this is a novel and creative use of turkey leftovers and the dish is deserve of tastespotting.

Cooking nurse said...

Oh, so lovely! Thanks for idea!

Foodycat said...

I swear my first meal back in Sydney is going to be pho. What the hell is wrong with this country that I can't get pho when I want it?

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

You have no idea how much I hate turkey noodle soup and how much I love you for posting this and saving me from that repugnant fate!

Eric Hensley said...

Stumbling on this around dinner time was a big mistake. I'm going to weep on my plate. Pho sho.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Another one who manages to make that turkey stock right away. Now I feel really guilty about the carcass in my freezer.

Last year I left the carcass in my freezer without realizing it still had cinnamon sticks sitting inside of it. When I boiled it down, I couldn't figure out what that sweet/spicy smell was coming from the pot!

I was really embarassed and my husband thought the soup was weird. Now I know I should have added some cloves and star anise and called it pho! ;-)

Brooke said...

All I have to say is mmmmmmm...... Me wantey.

Brittany said...

Pho is like my favorite food in the whole world- and an excellent vehicle for sriracha (a condiment I would happily mainline).
I get frustrated in the summer when It's too hot for any sensible person to eat it- but I do it anyway and sweat over my bowl...a lot.
I think this is my favorite of the Heather Thanksgiving redux..

PS- there is a place called
"pho King" in the international district.
I just love that.

abadeeba said...

you sum fancy speller.

Heather said...

Matt - Aw, it's just leftovers. :P

The Greek - I agree, but the Cake Mafia have spoken. :D

Cooking Nurse - Happy to oblige!

Alicia - Well, you have better Indian than we have. :)

Jen - Isn't regular turkey noodle just the bane?

Eric - Big boys don't cry. ;)

Rachel - Well, spatchcocking the turkey a day ahead does buy me the time, else I guess I'd still have a carcass in my freezer.

Brooke - You can have some. Come 'n get it!

Brittany - It is a great vehicle for sriracha and THE perfect hangover cure.

Inagottabadeeba, honey - Well, you're the one with the fancy name.

Joie de vivre said...

This looks lovely and cleansing.

Pam said...

A tasty and creative way to use leftover turkey. What a great soup!

tammy said...

Yeah. That sounds nice.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Ooh, ooh, ooh. . .I have such a hankering for pho the last couple of days (I even bought oxtails but that has been appropriated for another use now) -- so this post is very, very apro-pho!

Looks too delicious!

cook eat FRET said...

that's phoking beautiful soup...

shit, i just read down a few comments and obviously i am SO NOT original...

this soup is indeed very 'you'. the vietnamese restaurants here SUCK.

Zen Chef said...

You reduced 2 gallons of stock to 6cups? Pho-getaboutit! I bet it was good! Bravo Madame Heather.

And kudos on the pictures. Is that the D40 in action + natural light? No matter what it is.. me love it.

giz said...

Incredible - Pho is and always has been one of my very favourite things in the world but I don't think the one I get close to home even remotely holds a candle to this one.

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Nice idea! I looove pho, and rarely make it. Maybe I'll make a wild game version...with wild duck. Thanks for the inspiration!

We Are Never Full said...

damn, i've been meaning to comment on this but havent' been able to till now.

hell yeah, heather. this is inspired and i want some now. you are my master.

gaga said...

Yum! I like your use of thanksgiving leftovers much better than sandwiches.

Heather said...

yum. i love pho. i've never tried to make it. this looks great.

Kevin said...

That looks really good!