Updated from the archives, because there is no reason to waste anything from your gorgeous Thanksgiving meal.
If you haven’t broken down your turkey just yet then there’s something I need to tell you.
“Don’t throw out the carcass!”
That’s right, don’t throw it out. Use it to make enough turkey stock to get you through the rest of the holidays. No matter whether you can get turkey stock in your local market or not, I guarantee that you’ll never get the kind of flavor out of it that you will out of home made.
The best part is that making stock is a simple process. with just a little bit of effort and about two hours of unattended simmering, you’ll end up with the most mouthwatering addition to the rest of the meals of the season. It’s especially grand if you plan to serve turkey for Christmas as well. If not, just think how simple making gravy or some very succulent mashed potatoes will be.
So before you go to make all those leftover meals, let’s make a little stock to kick them up with, shall we?
- 1 turkey carcass, including leftover skin, wingtips (and giblets if available)
- 2 carrots, broken in half
- 3 stalks celery, broken in half
- 1 onion, cut in 2 pieces
- 1 head garlic, cut in half across the cloves.
- Water to cover.
- 1 Tbsp. ground sage.
- 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary.
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 2 tbsp olive oil (if giblets and neck are available)
- Heat oven to 350 - F.
- Break up carcass into manageable pieces. Place in roasting pan or casserole and place in oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, if giblets and neck are available, saute in a heavy bottomed stock pot with 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat until well browned, turning once.
- Remove carcass from oven when fat has begun to render from meat and joints. Add carcass to stock pot, thigh, drumstick and wing bones first. Add vegetables, just enough water to cover. Add sage rosemary, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
- Bring pot almost to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 to 2 hours. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. (Do not let the stock boil. doing so will make it cloudy.)
- Strain stock through a colander lined with damp cheesecloth or through a fine mesh sieve, let cool and store.
Stock can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Frozen it will last a good few months. simply add frozen stock to whatever pan you are preparing your meal in.
If you don’t feel like going through this much effort, you can still make a great stock by simmering your carcass pieces in vegetable stock. In about 35 minutes it will be a pretty good turkey stock, though not quite as rich as the original method.
Toss the carcass in a slow cooker with some onions, bay leaves, and celery. toss it on low for a few hours and viola! Simple turkey stock with no effort.
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
You’ll notice that the stock in the photo at the top of this entry is a bit cloudy. The reason for this is that I got distracted and allowed the stock to boil for too long. this unfortunately causes some of the solids in the bones and fat to become part of the solution. It doesn’t alter the flavor any, it’s just not as pretty.
Links to other recipes like this: