If you’ve ever wondered what to do with the leftover bones from your Thanksgiving turkey dinner, here’s what you do: make homemade turkey stock.
It might sound complicated or too difficult but trust me, it’s not. It’s basically a matter of throwing a few things in a large pot, simmering it for a number of hours and then straining it. Easy!
The difference between homemade and store bought stock is pretty unbelievable. The only warning I have for you is: once you try homemade stock you will have a difficult time going back to the stuff in cans and tetra packs.
Turkey stock keeps for at least 6 months in your freezer and you can use it in any recipe that calls for chicken stock so you’ll have lots of opportunity to use it. I like to freeze it in 1/2 cup and 6 cup portions in ziplock freezer bags. That way I can pull out a small bag when I need a little of it or a big bag if I’m making some soup.
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- 1 turkey carcass, broken into chunks to easily fit in your pot – can be raw but this is a great way to use the bones after you roast a turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas
- 2 medium onions, quartered (you can leave the skin on)
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half (no need to peel the cloves)
- ½ teaspoon peppercorns
- Optional: 1 rosemary branch, a few sage leaves, a few sprigs of thyme
- Put all ingredients in a large pot and cover with water till the bones are 2-3 inches under water.
- Bring to a simmer then reduce heat so that it stays at a very gently simmer. You don’t want it to boil as it will make the stock look dirty. It won’t effect the taste but it won’t look as nice and clear.
- Continue to simmer gently, uncovered, for about 4 hours.
- Remove from heat and strain though a colander into a large bowl. Place a fine mesh sieve over another bowl and strain once more to remove any small particles. Season to taste with sea salt.
- Store in covered containers in your fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage*
To remove fat from the stock chill it in your fridge and the fat will solidify on top. Then simply scoop the fat out.
*The amount of stock you get from this recipe will vary mostly due to the size of your pot.