Basics: Turkey (or Chicken) Stock

My husband always teases me when I refer to certain kitchen items as “staples”.  Well, little does he know, that if I didn’t keep our kitchen stocked with those “staples”, he probably wouldn’t get a homemade meal as often as he does!  Hahaha.  Although we have been eating turkey soup for like four days now…so he’d probably welcome a meal out!

This is one of those things you do on a Saturday or Sunday when you’re working around the house because you can throw everything in a pot and just let it be for four long hours.  And it’s EASY!  A poultry stock is great to have on hand for making soups, stews, risotto, sauces, etc.  Stock also freezes really well if you’re not going to use it right away.

Below is the recipe in a nutshell.  Stock is forgiving though, so don’t fret if you don’t have all of the ingredients on hand.  Feel free to add or leave out things, or spice it up however you’d like to!  This recipe can be used for a turkey or a chicken carcass.

Turkey Stock

  • 1 turkey carcass, cleaned of all usable meat
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 celery ribs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 or 2 sprigs of fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, or thyme)

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cover with water.  You can break up the carcass a little if necessary so that it is covered with water.  Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat so that stock is simmering.

Simmer for 4 hours, skimming off fat as necessary. (see picture below of what you’d want to skim off the top)

Drain stock through a fine sieve.  Discard bones, vegetables and herbs.  Let stock cool and then refrigerate (if using right away) or freeze.  You can also skim off the fat after it cools, as it will float to the top and make it easier. (see picture below)

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