It wasn’t turkey. It wasn’t stuffing. It had nothing to do with mashed potatoes or squash. But this is definitely the best meal I’ve made in a long time using Thanksgiving leftovers — and it was just a humble work-at-home lunch.

For me, the big bonus of Thanksgiving is really the turkey carcass. That’s the prize, as far as I’m concerned; I mean, if we’re all honest, we can have mashed potatoes any old time and leftover stuffing/cranberry sauce/squash/sweet potatoes are all well and good, but they lose their luster pretty quickly no matter how inventive you are. But the turkey carcass is the source of that liquid gold: A fabulous homemade stock, which then can become almost anything you want it to be.

The stock from a turkey is just a whole different thing from chicken stock, though you wouldn’t think there’d be much difference. It’s richer, it’s more savory, it’s maybe a little wild-tasting or gamey depending on where you source your turkey. And because I cook mine in the slow cooker for 16-20 hours, it’s so rich with gelatin that it’s a solid block of turkey goodness when I take it out of the refrigerator. It infuses a deep savoriness to everything it touches, which is why, on a cold, cold, bitter day not long after Thanksgiving, I decided to use it to make myself a big bowl of rice.

Let’s be honest. When it’s super cold out and you can’t quite seem to warm up, you go looking for a bowl of richness and carbs, too. I think it probably has something to do with evolution, so we can’t be blamed.

At any rate, I wanted a big, steaming bowl of rice perfumed with turkey stock, and I ALSO wanted it to not taste like Thanksgiving The Sequel. So I pulled out a couple of Asian ingredients from my pantry, and then I did the thing I always do when I don’t know how to quite finish off a decent lunch dish: I tossed a runny fried egg on top. That move was pure decadence, given the turkey stock…but did I mention it was cold? One does need sustenance to survive the winter.

Turkey stock, rice, edamame, tamari, egg. Five ingredients have never tasted quite so good.

Get the recipe:
Edamame and Egg Rice Bowl