What would the after holiday season be like without creamed turkey to cheer us? Since my earliest memory every Christmas and Thanksgiving was followed closely by a special Sunday dinner of good old-fashioned creamed turkey. This dish is so popular at our house that I make the creamed chicken version of it a couple of times a month. But it’s not quite as good with chicken, as it is with turkey.
My mother made this with cans of cream of mushroom and chicken soup for the sauce rather than the ‘usual white sauce’ Mrs. Dulls recipe calls for. My mother almost always included the pimentos,mushrooms and celery Mrs. Dull suggests as additions, which haven’t been very popular at my home. Prior to finding Mrs. Dull’s recipe I had improvised the following recipe to eliminate the canned soups. Turns out to be very close to Mrs. Dull’s found on pg. 44 of “Southern Cooking“.
- Turkey leftovers, including bones1 small-medium turkey
- apple cider vinegar 2 Tablespoons
- butter 4 Tablespoons
- Unbleached white flourFew Tablespoons
- heavy cream 1-2 Cups
- Poultry Shears (optional)
- Large Crockpot
- Cut up or tear apart the remains of your turkey. The goal here is to get the pieces small enough to fit in your crockpot.
- Cover with water and add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Cook on high for about 12 hours. Then set to low and cook another 24 hrs. The long, slow cooking will help release the minerals and collagen from the bones and joints. This makes for a rich, tasty, nutrient dense broth.
- Separate the meat from the bones and strain the broth. I generally use tongs for this. Be careful to remove the small bones.
At this point you can freeze the meat and broth for later or get started right away on the remaining steps for creamed turkey.
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet on medium-high. Add enough flour to the melted butter to thicken it, but not so much that starts to ball up. It should be bubbly. Cook till it is just starting to turn brown, being very careful not to overcook.
- Add 2 cups broth and stir well. Set heat to medium.
- When the sauce thickens somewhat add 1 cup cream and stir. If you prefer a creamier sauce just add a little more cream till it’s just like you like it. Add the desired amount of meat and heat through. Salt to taste.
- Serve over rice.