Leftover turkey has many tasty reincarnations. Turkey barley congee is one of my favorites that I make every year after Thanksgiving. It starts off by using the turkey carcass to make a rich broth. Congee is a nourishing and healthy one dish meal which I’ve adapted from the recipe of one of my favorite cookbooks: A Spoonful of Ginger: Irresistible, health-giving recipes from Asian kitchen, by Nina Simonds. She references the healthful or medicinal qualities of each recipe so you feel good about what you serve your family and guests.
TURKEY CONGEE WITH BARLEY
Adapted from the cookbook, “A Spoonful of Ginger” by Nina Simonds.
For the broth:
1 Turkey carcass from the Thanksgiving dinner
12 cups water
1 peeled onion
1 celery stalk
1 slice ginger
For the marinade:
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 ½ Tbs rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
For the soup:
1 pound or more leftover turkey meat, cut into bite size pieces or use uncooked turkey meat. if you don’t have leftovers.
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 cup whole grain or pearl barley, rinsed and drained. (whole grain barley is healthier)
3 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
3 stalks celery , cut into ¼ inch dice
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 tsp.-1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger (depending on how much you like ginger)
8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced (fresh) or/and dried shitake: 5-6 reconstituted in water
1-2 cans chicken or turkey broth as needed (optional: see note).
- Combine the broth ingredients and bring to boil in large pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for an hour. Strain and check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary.
- Meanwhile, combine ingredients for the marinade, add turkey and coat with marinade. Refrigerate.
- Fry onions in oil or butter until soft and lightly brown and set aside.
- Fry mushrooms in butter or olive oil until lightly browned and set aside.
- Add barley to the strained broth and cook for 45 minutes. If necessary, add more water or broth.
- Add carrots and celery (and turkey meat if it is uncooked) and cook another 15 minutes, checking to make sure there is enough liquid.
- Add browned onions, cooked turkey, rice wine, browned mushrooms and grated ginger and cook another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Taste for seasoning and add more broth if necessary and a little sesame oil to taste.
Note: This is meant to be a thick, porridge like soup. I prefer it a little soupier and so I have some broth set aside to add if necessary.