Black Friday Stew

Susannah/Sadie/Jane here, writing from her cabin high above a lake somewhere in the boondocks…

Hello, Wicked People! As my status may tell you, I’m not home in Connecticut for Thanksgiving. As long as there’s not too much snow, we travel to our cabin, where we watch the Macy’s parade (the only time we ever watch broadcast television there—not that that’s a big hardship or anything. We only get two stations.). We stay until mid-afternoon on Turkey Day, then head out to my mom’s house for a big dinner with my sisters and their families. After dinner, we break into two groups: the turkey coma victims and/or television special watchers, and the card players.

Doing the can-can-can on the deck, with the lake in the background
Doing the can-can-can on the deck, with the lake in the background

Since none of us are Black Friday shoppers, the next day everyone comes here, to Camp (yes, we think of it with a capital C). About ten years ago, I threw together a big, easy meal with the turkey leftovers, and Black Friday stew was born. We’ve been having it ever since. Today, I’m sharing the recipe with you.


Black Friday Stew

1 cooked turkey carcass (any size), meat picked off and refrigerated for later

1 onion

2 carrots

2 parsnips

2 stalks celery

1 bay leaf

Place turkey carcass in your largest stock pot. If you can, break up the carcass a bit so it will fit better. Add the vegetables and bay leaf. Cover most of the carcass with water, bring to a quick boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for at least three hours on medium-low heat. Allow to cool to a temperature that won’t burn you, then strain out the solids and discard. Measurements don’t have to be exact, but I usually end up with about 2 to 3 quarts of stock.

Place strained stock back into the cleaned pot and add:

2 cans of condensed cream of chicken soup, or 1 family-size can (straight from the can)

2 cans of creamed corn

1 can of drained niblets (or leftover corn from yesterday’s dinner)

Leftover gravy and mashed potatoes (if you have them)

Bring up to a slow simmer, and when the stew is hot, add about half a box of angel hair or spaghetti, broken up. Simmer until the pasta is cooked.

Serves a crowd (recipe is easily halved). Serve with buttered fresh-baked French bread—I use the Pillsbury kind that startles you when the tube of dough pops open. But any delicious roll or bread will do. Because what’s a few more carbs, right?

This is a very forgiving recipe. I’ve even added a bit of leftover stuffing and green bean casserole at the last minute, and it was quite tasty.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, I hope you all had a lovely Thursday and will have a peaceful weekend. Hugs from the boondocks!

5 Thoughts

  1. Hi, Susannah —

    Your Thanksgiving sounds like fun. Thank you for the recipe. Being an Italian-American, you had me until you added the spaghetti. Being a spaghetti purest, perhaps egg noodles? We always cook the turkey bones (which I did already last night) and after draining the bones, then I add the vegetables. They taste too good to throw out with the bones. That reminds me, I have to go put my turkey soup on — mine with mixed vegetables and barley. A Black Friday treat.

  2. It always feels odd to stuff that turkey skeleton into a pot, but it sure does make good soup. And I love your “startling” Pillsbury tube. No matter how often you make those things, the pop always surprises you.

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