Friday, March 28, 2008

Leftover Turkey Stock

You can feel really good about not wasting anything the next time you make a turkey. Making stock is not hard or complicated. You'll be rewarded with delicious soup, and an amazing aroma will fill your home as you make the stock. And you don't even have to make soup right away -- just freeze the stock. I freeze it in 1 and 2 cup portions in freezer bags...label them and lay them flat in the freezer...takes up very little space. Found this recipe by Lennie at

4½ hours 20 min prep 8 cups

1 turkey carcass

16 cups cold water
2 large celery ribs, sliced
2 large carrots, scraped and sliced
2 onions, quartered (do NOT peel)
10 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley (or more, if you wish)
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 teaspoons dried thyme

First, you need a turkey carcass, stripped of all its meat. You'll also likely discover that you'll be able to rescue a lot of meat off the carcass; this is a bonus, since you now have the meat for the soup as well.

Try to make the stock the day after the turkey was cooked, but if you have to wait another day or so, that's okay; it'll taste best, though, if you can get to it soon.

Let's get started; first, get out a large pot.

Next, start to strip off any meat clinging to the carcass; put this in a container and set aside; note that this is a hands-on job and you will get a little messy; that's okay, both your hands and your counter wash up easily.

As you are stripping off the meat (don't fret, you won't get it ALL, some stubbornly clings to the bones and that's okay, it too flavours the stock), continue to break up the bones and put them in the pot; also put in the pot any turkey skin and all the other assorted"bits" that aren't edible meat.
When you have the pot full of bones, pour the cold water over and turn heat to high; bring to a boil.

Now wash up and prepare the veggies and parsley; make sure to leave the onion skin ON as it gives your stock a lovely rich colour. (I also add my freezer bag of veggie peels, ends, etc.)

When the stock comes to a boil, add all remaining ingredients and turn heat down to a lightly bubbling simmer, the type where the bubbles barely break the surface.

Now let it simmer for 3 to 4 hours, stirring every once in a while.
I much prefer letting it reduce down to where I'll only get 7 or 8 cups of stock; I find the flavour much better and stronger, even if I have to add water when making the soup.

If you only let it simmer till you have about 12 cups of stock, it will be ready sooner but the flavour is much weaker.

Once you feel your stock is ready, strain it through a fine-meshed sieve into a large bowl; if your sieve is not fine, line it first with cheesecloth; discard the bones and veggies you used to make the stock, all their goodness is now in your stock.

Refrigerate stock, covered, for several hours or preferably overnight; then you can either make soup the next day, or freeze the stock; but make sure you first skim off the solidified fat. By the way, it's normal for the cold stock to "gel"...this happens because of the gelatin in the bones.

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