Welcome to Steamy Kitchen!

Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Leftover Turkey Recipe: Chinese Congee (Rice Porridge or Jook)

Turkey Congee

Update 11/25/11 Happy Thanksgiving! Guess what my Mom’s got simmerin’ on the stove!? Yep – Chinese Turkey Rice Porridge. Yum…….

On Thanksgiving, we packed the kids in the minivan and headed to Orlando to my brother-in-law’s for a “Boston Market Takeout Thanksgiving.” Oh, don’t groan, it really wasn’t bad at all. While you were all scrubbing layers of grease off your pans, all we did was crumple up take out containers. The best part of celebrating the holidays with people who don’t cook is knowing that the entire turkey carcass is MINE…..ALL MINE.

Such a silly thing to be smug about, but I consider the endless potential of leftover bones just as exciting as the roasted turkey itself. And since we only have turkey once or twice a year, I act like Tom of Tom & Jerry with icons of turkey flashing in my eyes. I could make stock (freeze and use throughout the year), gumbo, casserole, soup and my favorite….Turkey Congee (rice porridge)

Normally, when I spend holiday dinners with other cooks and chefs, it’s a silent game of strategy. But how would you politely and tactfully be the first to lay dibs on the turkey bones if you are a guest? Since many of you will have turkey again for Christmas dinner, I’m going to share my secrets with you. But if you click through to read…you’ve just waived away your right to use these tricks against me. Deal?

 

How to tactfully lay dibs on the turkey bones

I’m going to divide this strategy lessons into 3 parts. Before, during and after the meal.

Before the meal

  • The moment you hang up your jacket and take off your shoes – begin your distraction technique. The cook has been up since 4 a.m. washing, chopping, baking, boiling, roasting for this one meal. Their mind is totally focused all the way up to the point of END OF DESSERT COURSE. Talk only about the meal itself. Do not bring up the subject of “leftovers” or “turkey bones.” If anyone else brings up the subject, quickly cut them off and say:

“Do I smell something burning?” BUT you can only play this “burning card” this ONCE in the evening. Any more than that, you might not be invited back next year.

  • Offer to carve the turkey. Do NOT let that turkey go uncarved to the table. If the turkey gets carved at the table, those sexy turkey bones are exposed in front of the entire table and game over. Now everyone is thinking about potential recipes for turkey bones.

Turkey Congee

During the meal

  • The seat closest to the kitchen is the MONEY SEAT. Before everyone else arrives, discreetly crumple up the napkin and take a drink from the water glass at that seat to lay claim.
  • When the cook triumphantly announces, “Dinner is ready!” elegantly (but quickly) sashay to the table and stand behind the chair that you want. You can’t be the first to sit down, that would be rude and way too obvious. But just one hand casually leaning against the back of the chair is fine.
  • Towards end of the meal, keep an eye for anyone finishing early. Do whatever you can to keep them at the table. Strike up engaging conversation with them. Ask OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS.

After the meal

  • Be the first to signal the end of dinner and establish dominance by puffing up your chest, stretching arms out and pushing your chair out.

“Thank you for a lovely meal, name of host. It was truly a delightful Thanksgiving dinner! Let me help you clear the table.” and proceed to take your plate to the kitchen. Your host will surely follow behind you with an armful of dishes.

  • If someone other than cook follows you before host can get to kitchen,BLOCK and REDIRECT.

“Oh, is that cranberry on your collar? That is going to stain! Quick! Take my Tide to Go stain pen.”

  • With only you and cook in kitchen, stand over the turkey carcass, make a big SIGH, and say:

“Wow, that’s a lot of leftover turkey. You’ll be eating turkey for weeks!”

  • By now, the host will be so stuffed of turkey, sick of turkey, focused on the piles of dirty dishes that she/he will not even think twice when you say:

“I’d love to take the bones home, may I?”

SCORE.

Now you can make Turkey Congee, or rice porridge:

***

To me, the most successful leftover turkey dishes do NOT TASTE LIKE LEFTOVER TURKEY. There are countless recipes floating out on the web, but if it just tastes like Thanksgiving turkey but in a different form, what’s the point?

Here’s the secret to making your turkey congee taste incredibly wonderful – dried scallops and dried shrimp.

dried scallops and dried shrimp

You can find both in Asian markets. You only use a few pieces of each and it adds that mysterious “umami” dimension to your turkey congee. If you don’t have either, that is fine, you can substitute with any of the following:

  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup instant dashi stock
  • 3-4 DRIED shitake black mushrooms
  • saute 1/2 diced onion + 4 ounces chopped fresh mushrooms

Turkey congee Recipe

Print

Turkey Congee (Rice Porridge) Recipe

Servings: Prep Time: Cook Time:
recipe for turkey rice porridge

Ingredients:

Leftover turkey bones (about 1/2 of the bones - save the other half for making stock or whatever)
2 carrots, cut into large dice
3 stalks of celery, cut into large dice
2 tablespoons dried shrimp (optional)
6 whole dried scallops (optional)
9 cups water
1 cup raw rice
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cups cooked turkey meat, shredded
fish sauce or soy sauce to taste

Directions:

1. Soak dried scallops and shrimp in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. With your hands, separate the bones into large pieces (no smaller than 3"). In a large stockpot, heat cooking oil over medium-low heat. When hot, add carrots and celery and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add turkey bones and water to pot.

2. With your fingers, shred the scallops into small pieces. Add scallops, shrimp and the soaking water to broth. Turn heat to high and let boil. Immediately turn heat to low and add raw rice.Simmer uncovered or partially covered for 45 minutes, up to 2 hours until rice has thickened into congee. Do not stir while it is cooking. Just leave it alone so that the rice can thicken undisturbed. Stir in cooked turkey meat.

3. Taste, add fish sauce or soy sauce to taste. Start with 1 tablespoon first and add in 1/2 tsp at a time until you reach perfect seasoning.

More Recipes:

Vegetable Fried Rice Why we ate nothing but vegetables for 2 weeks.

Vietnamese Chicken Pho Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)



67 Responses to “Leftover Turkey Recipe: Chinese Congee (Rice Porridge or Jook)”

  1. Phyllis — 11/23/10 @ 2:32 pm

    If you are not already aware of this: everyone in Hawaii makes turkey jook (congee) the day after Thanksgiving! Japanese,chinese,philipino,caucasain,samoan, etc.; it doesn’t matter.

  2. Fantastic. I have such a huge family that my sister is making two turkeys. I won’t have to wrestle anyone for the bones. Thanks so much for this recipe.

  3. wenders — 11/24/10 @ 4:00 pm

    YOU ARE HILARIOUS!!!! My sister-in-law made the turkey one year and I asked her what her plans were with the carcass, thinking she was going to make congee or something… but nope, she was going to toss!, so I was blessed with the leftover carcass. Score! I’m making the turkey this year, so it’s all mine! Truth be told though, I never heard of turkey jook until I went to college. Growing up, my family wasn’t big on turkey and only ate it at the church thanksgiving dinner, so never had opportunity to have turkey carcass. Nice touch with the dried scallops & dried shrimp. I’m sure I have some that my mom gave and glad to use it!

  4. Pingback: Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. shannon — 11/28/10 @ 7:59 pm

    This recipe was so good. I am in no way a cook and this came out so perfectly, that i used the other half of the bones to make it again the very next day. I Love IT!!!

  6. Kim Bee — 11/28/11 @ 2:12 pm

    I cannot stop laughing. I love your helpful advice on to score the bones. Wonderful recipe too. Love your sense of humor Jaden!

  7. JQR77 — 11/29/11 @ 1:54 am

    Very unique recipe Thanks!

  8. JQR77 — 11/29/11 @ 1:55 am

    Very unique post thanks!

  9. Gale — 1/14/12 @ 1:38 pm

    Really funny!! BTW my mom and all her friends buy turkey necks or wings to make jook when they get out-maneuvered by pros like you.

  10. Pingback: Tasty Eats at Home » Turkey Congee (Jook) with Brown Rice

  11. Pingback: Thanksgiving Favorites! « Betsy & Iya Jewelry

  12. Pingback: 11.26.12 Daikon, tatsoi and winter radishes | Diary of a Tomato

  13. Haha, I love it! Turkey bones are such a jewel! Oddly engough in Mexico (where I live) it’s not a big thing to save turkey or chicken bones. They are SO missing out!

  14. mariati — 11/29/13 @ 7:23 pm

    Looks interesting and easy to follow, will try the recipe. Thks so much.

  15. tracybee — 12/29/13 @ 7:32 pm

    Are the bones taken out at some point or are they fished out at the end?

  16. Nartaya — 9/25/14 @ 1:36 pm

    Ohm, this post is hilarious! We make a thai version of Pho the day after Thanksgiving. And we ALWAYS offer to cook just so we can have to carcass, it helps that we don’t have ‘cooking’ friends. But I make turkey congee throughout the year whenever we can find turkey thighs. I have never tried it with dried shrimps or scallops, but it will have to add them to my list next time in at the Asian market!

Leave a Comment