Recipe File: Super Simple Turkey Stock

Finally finishing up all of your Thanksgiving leftovers? Well, don’t toss that carcass – you’re not done yet! Emily Cavanaugh-Spain, San Juan Islander and doyenne of The Wanderlust Whisk shares one of the easiest recipes for turkey stock we’ve seen.

Emily Turkey Stock 1

So I woke up this morning with congestion, a headache and a barely there voice. It seems that my son bestowed his cold onto me via coughing… into my mouth. Motherhood!

With the weather at barely 30º I needed to share something simple and delicious with you that isn’t labor intensive because frankly my body just isn’t capable of doing much of anything else today.

We happened to save our turkey carcass and with the majority of the leftovers having already been devoured, I figured today would be a good day to make some turkey stock. The most intensive part is roughly chopping vegetables and peeling that funky paper-like skin off of the garlic.

I didn’t take any pictures of the prep because, frankly, it’s really hard to take pretty pictures of a carcass. And we want to be reminded of how pretty and delicious this will be — and looking at that carcass before it’s redeemed itself by contributing its flavor to the stock is just sad and unappetizing.

You will need:

  • Turkey carcass
  • 4 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 hefty sprigs of thyme
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tbs of whole black peppercorns
  • Water to cover

Place the carcass into the stock pot along with the chopped carrots, celery, onion, whole garlic cloves, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns.

Fill the stock pot with water until just covering the carcass. If there’s only an inch or so sticking out, that’s fine. Our stock pot was a little small for our behemoth of a turkey so we had to cut it apart.

We bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, where bubbles are coming to the surface every few seconds. As the impurities from the bones escape, you’ll see a grayish foam rising to the surface, using either a spoon or a small strainer, skim that off the surface until all that remains is the clear broth.

Four hours later: not pretty perhaps, but extra flavorful!

Four hours later: not pretty perhaps, but extra flavorful!

Let it simmer for 4 hours until the liquid has reduced, if you have a bigger stock pot you may need to let it simmer for 5 hours. Then, using tongs, remove the carcass (very likely in pieces) from the pot. And strain the stock into tupperware.

We were planning on making a turkey noodle soup with our stock so we put it all into one container. If you want to have it handy as a broth for other recipes, you’ll likely want to separate it into 2 cup batches. Before you put the stock in the fridge/freezer, you’ll want to skim the surface of the stock to remove the layer of fat that has gathered.

It can be kept for 3-4 days in the fridge.

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