So, you’ve spent the last couple of weeks planning and preparing for Thanksgiving, and now it is almost time to enjoy your beautifully crafted Turkey Dinner. You’re probably a bit exhausted from it all. But, it isn’t over just yet.
Making homemade turkey stock is relatively simple after your Thanksgiving Feast, even if it does feel like one more thing to worry about. And I’m telling you, homemade broth is so worth the work. It tastes absolutely delicious and rich. You have complete control of what’s in it — that means no MSG and lots of flavor — when you make it yourself.
If you haven’t already removed the leftover meat from your roasted turkey after the meal is over, do that first. Then, you can use the extra meat to make homemade turkey soup using your homemade turkey stock if you’d like.
5 Tips for Making Homemade Turkey Stock
1. Add the turkey (or chicken) carcass to the pot along with the neck piece and any leftover skin or scraps of meat that are lingering on the bones. If necessary to fit the bones nicely in your pot, you can disassemble the bones so to speak. Use a meat mallet or kitchen shears to help break them apart.
2. If you used a brine recipe (such as this Apple Cider Sage Turkey Brine), there will be plenty of residual salt leftover from the brining process and no need to add extra. If at the end of preparation your broth tastes saltier than you’d like, simply add more water.
2. Add plenty of aromatics such as onion, garlic, celery, and carrot to the pot. Vegetable scraps work great. The ends of carrots that you cut off and don’t consume, celery ends and leaves, even onion skins. As you are preparing your Thanksgiving Feast, save any of these scraps in a large gallon sized zip top bag in your refrigerator.
3. Add fresh herbs. Parsley, Sage and Thyme are my personal favorites to add to the pot with the turkey carcass. I use a few sprigs of each.
4. Fill the pot with water and bring the turkey carcass mixture to a boil, then simmer it all day long. If you need to add more water to account for evaporation, do so. Taste your delicious homemade turkey broth after a few hours and adjust flavors to your personal preference.
5. If you have an extra large slow cooker or counter top roaster, you can make the turkey stock in that as well. Just allow it to cook on high for 1 1/2 hours, then on low for 6 hours (or more if you’d like).
Bonus: When roasting a whole chicken, or purchasing pre-roasted whole chickens, keep the leftover bones in a Ziploc freezer bag in the freezer. When you’ve collected 2-3, use them to make homemade chicken broth.
Tips for Storing Homemade Turkey Stock
1. After you’ve simmered your pot of turkey bones, aromatics, herbs and water all day you’ll want to strain the mixture. I set a fine mesh strainer over another large pot and slowly pour the turkey broth mixture over the strainer. The strainer will catch and debris that you don’t want in the final product. Discard that debris.
2. If the turkey broth seems fatty, I chill the strained broth in the refrigerator overnight and skim the fat solids off the top the next morning.
3. Divide the stock into individual portions that suit your family’s needs. Make sure you use freezer safe containers and leave about a 1/2 inch of head space in the container to allow for expansion in the freezer. Then, store the stock in the freezer.
4. Homemade turkey stock will store for at least 6 months. Use your homemade turkey broth anytime you need broth for soup recipes.
Do you make your own turkey stock after Thanksgiving?
p.s. Don’t forget to enter the $500 Calphalon Gift Card Giveaway. Treat yourself to some new pots and pans this holiday season!