Bird to the Last Drop

Bird to the Last Drop

The essence of Thanksgiving in liquid form. This soup extracts every last bit of goodness from the poultry remains. Resist the urge to pick the bones clean before using this application. A little meat in the soup, especially dark meat, will up the flavor ante considerably.

Bird to the Last Drop
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  1. 2 quarts vegetable broth
  2. 1 turkey carcass
  3. 1 10-ounce box frozen vegetable medley
  4. 1/2 cup long-grain white rice, uncooked
  5. 2 cups turkey meat, cubed or torn into small pieces
  6. 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  7. 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  8. Kosher salt, to taste
  9. Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste (lots)
  1. Put the broth and carcass in an 8-quart pot over low heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
  2. Remove the carcass.
  3. Add the vegetables, rice, turkey meat, Old Bay, and thyme to the pot and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and serve along with the pepper grinder. I don't know why it is turkey seems to be able to take so much pepper, but by the time I'm through with it the bowl is teeming with wee black bits. And I'm not a huge black pepper fan.
  1. Yields: Approximately 6 servings
Alton Brown Bird to the Last Drop


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  1. 1
    Hank Arnold

    This may be my favorite recipe by AB! Highly recommend using the meat and bones from a SMOKED TURKEY. Fantastic.

    Thank you AB.

    • 2
      Hank Arnold

      My favorite smoked turkey comes from Greenberg Smoked Turkey, inc. in Tyler, TX and the best part is that they can be ordered online.

  2. 4
    Rebecca Moon

    Mr. Brown,
    Please advise: My rice is sinking to the bottom of the pot. Is that supposed to happen?
    Wish I could attach a photo to this message so you could see.

    Mrs. Rebecca Moon

  3. 5

    Looks fantastic! Gonna have to try it! Might add some black beans to add a bit more protein and fiber! Thanks again Alton, you’re a genius!!!

    • 7

      Beautifully! I just made stock from my smoked turkey. Lovely taste with a mild smoke flavor. You may want to leave out some of the skin – the smoky flavor can be a little overpowering if you have a lot. (i find the skin absorbs a lot of smoke)

  4. 8

    This a recipe I have used for Old Bay Seasoning in a pinch.
    1 Tbsp
    celery salt
    1 Tbsp
    ground bay leaves
    2 tsp
    fresh ground black pepper
    1 tsp
    1/2 tsp
    dry mustard
    1/4 tsp
    nutmeg-fresh ground if possible
    1/4 tsp
    cinnamon powder
    1/4 tsp
    ground cloves
    i recently did a side by side taste test of this recipe with a container of old bay..
    and based on that test
    i would use only a pinch of the nutmeg,
    cinnamon and cloves,
    instead of 1/4 tsp. of each

  5. 9

    Good recipe. We deal with the soup a little differently. We strip the carcass on Thanksgiving and use it, along with celery and onions, to make a stock–cook it in a big slow cooker overnight. We then make different soups over the next few days. One of the best is stock, some of the left over dark meat (stored as part of clean up), left over wild rice, a bit of gravy to thicken, seasoned to taste.

  6. 10

    This may seem strange but here in Australia you cannot get “Old Bay seasoning” what is it a mixture of?
    agree with the pepper tip.
    never let a carcase go by.

    • 11

      A quick wiki search shows that Old Bay seasoning is a branded mix of spices made by McCormick, an American spice manufacturer, historically used to flavor crabs. There is a general consensus of the ingredients (10 – 15) that can be found in numerous recipes online, although of course ratios will vary from taste to taste.

    • 12

      key search word: recipe old-bay-seasoning copycat 189447

      Old Bay Seasoning (Copycat)
      This was adapted from Aliza Green from Field Guide to Herbs & Spices. A little different from the recipes already here. Traditionally, this seasoning is used for steamed crabs, but is now used for fish, potato salad, potatoes, and other vegetables. This would also make a great gift, along with some recipes! Enjoy!

      YIELD: 1/2 cup
      UNITS: US

      2 tablespoons bay leaf powder

      2 tablespoons celery salt (or 1 tbls. ground celery seed and 1 tbls. salt)

      1 tablespoon dry mustard

      2 teaspoons ground black pepper

      2 teaspoons ground ginger

      2 teaspoons sweet paprika (smoked paprika is even better if you can find it!)

      1 teaspoon white pepper

      1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

      1 teaspoon ground cloves

      1 teaspoon ground allspice

      1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

      1⁄2 teaspoon ground mace

      1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom

      1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

      1. Combine all ingredients in an airtight jar, mix thoroughly.
      2. Keep sealed until ready to use.
      3. To give as a gift, place in a pretty jar, along with some recipes. This would look nice in a basket, maybe with some measuring spoons, and ingredients for one of the recipes you give. Enjoy!

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