Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cleaning out the Freezer

After Christmas I had made a lot of turkey stock. I also still had a freezer bag full of turkey meat. It was time to do something with it all. I wanted something low fat and hardy. I found a recipe in the Looney Spoons cook book and adjusted it to what I had around.

This is the original recipe
Mother Souperior's Best Barley
2 tsp. canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless turkey or chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups EACH chopped celery and chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onions
4 cups low-sodium, reduced-fat (or fat free) chicken broth
1 can (28 ounces) reduced sodium diced tomatoes
1/3 cup pearl barley
3/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp. EACH thyme and sage, salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add turkey or chicken cubes and cook until no longer pink. Add all remaining ingredients. Mix well. Bring soup to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 - 35 mins, until poultry and barley are tender. 6 Servings

Now I am sure this recipe is good as it is but I didn't follow it exactly. I had some stuff to use up plus I didn't have any celery. I don't really like celery anyway.

So, in my slow cooker I tossed one diced onion and the garlic that every recipe needs and was clearly missing from the original recipe (no oil) also the last 3 carrots I had in the crisper.
I turned it on high and added my turkey stock. I had just over 2 liters, so that is what I used.

I added 1 can of diced tomatoes and about 1 cup of barley.
The original recipe assumes you are using fresh, raw chicken or turkey but I was using Christmas leftovers. So I roughly chopped the turkey I had and it was about 4 cups. I probably didn't need so much but I wasn't going to put a cup back in the freezer.

I used a tsp each of basil, thyme and oregano and seasoned with salt and pepper. I thought it needed a little kick of spice but I didn't have the chili flakes I wanted so i put in a few tablespoons of Frank's Red Hot. Not my favourite hot sauce but it was that or the Bajan hot sauce made from Scotch Bonnets we brought back from Barbados.
I let it go in the crock pot all afternoon and then decided it wasn't tomato-y enough. I added another can of tomatoes and maybe it made it too tomato-y but it was tasty, I like tomatoes.

The consistency ended up being really thick and lovely. The barley absorbed lots of liquid and the turkey was tender and delish!

This turned out really good. I think it is going to become my go to "recipe" for leftover turkey and all the stock I insist on making every year.

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