Talkin' Turkey

I'd like to make a confession.  In a given week, I would estimate that I eat the main entree at most three times.  There is something about preparing, cooking and serving 700 portions of any given food that burns out the "special-ness" for my taste buds.  Some days a person wants something unique, something personalized, something...well, something else.  Fortunately for me (and for our faculty and students) The Lexington School Dining Hall has wonderful variety. I can make a great salad pick and choose whatever toppings I like and top it all with our great house-made salad dressings.  I can have a bowl of fresh soup and a baked potato (or sweet potato!).  My personal go-to is the Deli Station.  I love great sandwiches.  

But a sandwich is only as good as its ingredients and our Deli Station has great ingredients.  Take our turkey for example.  No fillers, no solutions, dyes or artifical preservatives.  We buy turkey, remove the breast from the bone, season with salt and pepper, roll it in foil and roast it.  We chill it over night and slice it fresh daily.  

Why go to so much trouble over something like lunch meat?  The primary reason is the flavor.  Turkey tastes better when it's simple.  A great benefit, and the second reason we use real turkey, is the carcass.  There's gold in them there bones.  And by gold I mean stock.  We make our own turkey stock that is the base for our Chicken Noodle Soup as well as protein based entrees that need a little extra body and flavor. 

Stock is really simple to make.  It needs a long time to simmer but there is little active work that needs done.  Just add celery, carrots, and onions, bones and cold water.  Bring to simmer, and let slowly simmer for at least 4 hours.  Strain the solids and chill the liquid.  When completely chilled, the stock may set slightly like gelatin.  This is normal (and the sign of a truly great stock).  At home, I make stock, chill it and then freeze it in those old school ice cube trays.  When they freeze I pop them out of the trays and put them in gallon freezer bags.  Any time that a dish calls for a little (or a lot) of stock I have perfect 1.5 ounce portions ready to go.
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