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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This easy and fool-proof turkey stock recipe will turn your leftover Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey bones into an incredibly delicious soup base.
- 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*
*DO NOT freeze stock in glass mason jars. The stock will expand as it freezes and break the jars. Plastic freezer bags work great for freezing stock.
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.