Saturday, November 24, 2012

Turkey Stock

Have you used up your bird yet? Have you sneaked into the kitchen to pull pieces off the carcass in the fridge?  I think as I cleaned my carcass this year I had one piece in my mouth for every 2 I put on the plate.  I have a bag of turkey in my fridge, and a little more in my freezer for sandwiches on another day. 

The carcass...The best part of the bird. I lifted mine onto my cutting board, then scrapped the jelly, onions and scraps from the bottom of my roasting pan directly into my stock pot.  In went everything left in that pan, and the result...Oh so good.

Making stock for soup is such an easy process, yet I know few people actually take the time to do it.  One main reason I choose to do my own is because I can then control the salt content.  But seriously, I just can't stand letting a beautiful carcass go to waste, I have been known at times to bring home a carcass from another house just so it doesn't go to waste.  The flavor achieved is far superior to anything you can buy at the store.

This recipe is what I did for our large Thanksgiving turkey, it can easily be halved for a smaller bird.

My stock before it came to a boil.
1 Turkey Carcass (20 pound bird), picked free of most meat (but not all)
2 onions, peeled and cut in half
2 stalks celery, washed and chopped corse
4 carrots, peeled, and chopped corse
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled and smashed with the side of your knife
2 bayleaves
4 sprigs thyme
2 large sprigs fresh parsley
4 cups dry white vermouth

Chop the bird up into about 4 pieces, or to what fits in your stock pot, add the rest of the ingredients.  Fill with enough water to just cover everything.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer, uncovered, for at least 3-4 hours.  Remember the longer the better, it brings the flavors together!

When completed remove the larger bones and pick off the meat.  Save the reserved meat and toss the bones.  Strain the rest of the stock through a fine sieve reserving the liquid, toss the solids*.  Return the shredded meat to the broth.  At this point I then divided it into 2 batches, one went on to become turkey noodle soup for dinner, and the rest went into the freezer for another day. 

*This may sound like an obvious step, yet all I remember every time I make stock is my husband at his first job. He worked in a kitchen and when told to strain the stock, he dumped the liquid down the drain...


  1. I always make stock from my turkey carcass too. Usually ends up as a turkey stew with dumplings. I don't know why, but I've never used garlic before. I'll have to give it a try. And my Mom always put a little summer savory in hers so I do too.

  2. I've also brought home poultry carcasses from other people's houses to make stock LOL