Who doesn’t love a roast turkey? It’s an eye-popping main course and a huge draw for your diners. Afterwards, there’s the turkey sandwiches and casseroles. Before you know it, you’ve sliced, picked and nibbled your way right down to the carcass. But wait, you’re not done yet — it’s time for homemade turkey stock!
There is nothing like homemade stock — it’s richer and has more depth than those boxed varieties — and you know exactly what goes into it. Turkey carcass (duh), onions, celery and carrots plus some bay leaves, peppercorns and other spices.
Cover the whole mix with water, add a tight fitting lid and simmer, simmer, simmer.
Then strain. Strain the bones. Strain the veg and spices (pressing on the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to make sure you’re extracting all of the stock.
And pour into containers. The stock can be frozen for later, or refrigerated if you’re planning a soup or stew later that week. The best part of homemade stock is the gelatinous, collagen nature of the finished product. When you take it from the fridge and give it a shake, it’s wobbles like jell-o. That’s the secret sauce. It lends a full, rich mouth feel to your soups and it’s something that can’t be duplicated with canned broth. I’m not knocking the convenience of that — and I always have a few cans on hand, but this is special — and if you’re the lucky holder of a carcass — don’t waste it!
Homemade Turkey Stock
- 1 turkey carcass split into large pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery roughly chopped
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 10 whole peppercorns
- 4 whole allspice berries
In a large, heavy stock pot or dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots, celery and onion and saute until vegetables are tender - about 5 minutes. Add the peppercorns, allspice and bay leaves. Add the turkey carcass and cover with water.
Bring the pot to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer and cover with the lid so that it's slightly askew and steam can escape. Cook at a rapid simmer for 2 hours.
Place a large strainer over a large bowl. Remove the big pieces of turkey carcass and discard. Pour the stock through the strainer and into the bowl. Discard the solids. Cool the stock to room temperature and store in airtight containers. Can be frozen for 2 months or refrigerated for up to a week.
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