January 13, 2011

Basic Turkey Stock

After baking a turkey recently, I was left with a variety of leftovers.  I removed lots of turkey meat, including one complete breast, from the turkey, but that left me with the turkey carcass, which had a fair bit of meat still attached.  I divided the carcass into pieces and froze it, only to take it out of the freezer a week later to make turkey stock.

Turkey stock quite useful for soups, but it can also be used in place of chicken stock in any number of recipes.  My plan was to freeze a couple quarts of stock and use the rest to make a turkey soup of some sort.  I'll probably be using some of the frozen stock to make a turkey pot pie in the near future.

The following is a pretty basic recipe for stock.  It is tasty enough to stand on its own as a turkey broth, but it really shines when used as a base for other recipes.  It takes a little time, but most of that time is just simmering, with only minimal oversight necessary, and the result is well worth the time.

Basic Turkey Stock

yield = 4 1/2 quarts stock

1         carcass from a 18-20 pound turkey with ample
           amount of meat still attached, divided into sections
           to fit into a pot
2         large stalks celery, chopped course
1         large onion, peeled and halved
1         large carrot, peeled and chopped coarse
1         bay leaf
5         medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1         teaspoon black peppercorns, slightly cracked
5         quarts water
2         cups dry white wine
5         sprigs fresh parsley
2         sprigs fresh thyme

Add the turkey carcass, celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf, garlic cloves and peppercorns to a large stock pot (12 quarts or more works best) along with the water and wine.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer two hours, stirring occasionally.  Add the parsley and thyme, simmer two more hours, then strain the broth into quart-size containers.  Remove the meat from the solids and reserve for soup or other uses.  When the broth has cooled, remove and discard the fat from atop the broth.

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