How to Make Turkey Stock and Why You Should

Before you roast that turkey, plan ahead for the bones. Don’t waste this precious part of the turkey – instead, save them to make turkey stock. Not only will you have a base for soup and sauces for months to come, but you will use every bit of that free-range, organic turkey. Read on for the easy steps.

Five Reasons to Make Turkey Stock

  1. Cooking with homemade stock makes you look like a pro – and your food will taste like it, too.
  2. Bone stock is packed with gelatin which supports skin, hair, joint health and many processes in the body.
  3. Stock has lots of easily digested minerals, too.
  4. Stock is called Jewish penicillin for a reason: this is healing food.
  5. Bone broth is probably the cheapest – when you make it at home – and most nutrient-dense food.

Indeed, stock is everything in cooking. Without it, nothing can be done. –Escoffier

Turkey carcass in roasting pan

How to Make Turkey Stock

If you don’t have the time or inclination to make turkey stock right after Thanksgiving, be sure to freeze the bones and defer the project. Save all the bones and any bits of uneaten skin (lots of collagen there), tendons, etc and put them in sturdy freezer bags.

We’ve already blogged about making chicken stock, and described some of the health benefits of this golden elixir. And then there’s the brown turkey stock post, intended to help you make a velvety gravy.

This is a white stock, which means you don’t need to roast the bones before putting them in the stockpot (they were roasted when you cooked the turkey, after all).

All you need to do is simmer the bones in a large pot with water to cover, a few yellow onions (leave the skin on), roughly chopped carrots and celery, some peppercorns and a bay leaf, and optional fresh parsley. Throw in some leek greens if you have them.

Turkey stock – photo: Joy, flickr

Combine all the ingredients in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Use two large pots if you don’t have a stockpot big enough.

Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat and leave at a simmer for 2 to 6 hours. Skim the surface to remove foam and any debris.

Once you are done, let the stock cool a bit. When it is safe to handle, strain it through a chinois or other fine-mesh sieve. Discard the vegetables.

Let stock cool completely and ladle into jars or plastic containers. You can freeze the stock and use it to make soups and sauces for months to come.


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2 Comments Add yours

  1. julie says:

    It’s even easier if you have a slow cooker. Just pop everything in it and go to bed!

    1. D'Artagnan says:

      That’s another great option, Julie! And some are using multicookers to make stock quickly.

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