How to Make Homemade Turkey Stock

How to Make Turkey Stock by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I’ve known for a really long time that it was pretty much sacrilege to throw away the bones and carcass from the Thanksgiving turkey (or any roasted poultry, for that matter). However, I totally cop to being lazy for an equally long time. After spending days preparing for Thanksgiving, the last thing I want to do the next day or the day after that is spend more time in the kitchen. However, last year I finally bit the bullet and made sure I saved all of the turkey scraps, carcass and all, once we were done cleaning up Thanksgiving dinner. A couple of days later, I threw all of it, along with a bunch of vegetables and aromatics, into a pot and let it simmer for a couple of hours. The house smelled fabulous, and once everything was strained, I had about four quarts of homemade turkey stock. I froze a couple, gave one to my grandparents, and started using the other right away.

The stock is so flavorful, and, to my surprise, it really didn’t take much time at all. You really just throw everything into a pot and let it go. I think I spent the afternoon catching up on Homeland episodes while the pot simmered ;-)

How to Make Turkey Stock by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

This Thanksgiving, don’t throw away the turkey carcass or leftover bones! If you aren’t going to make the stock immediately, put everything into a zip-top bag and keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of days, or freeze for a week or two. Then, while you’re relaxing or getting the house decorated for Christmas, throw everything in the pot and let it work its magic. When it’s done, you’ll have some fabulous turkey stock, which is perfect for any recipe that you’d use chicken stock, or in any of these dishes that are perfect for using up leftover turkey: Turkey, Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup, Turkey Pot Pie, or Turkey Tetrazzini.

Do you have a favorite recipe for using up Thanksgiving leftovers?

How to Make Turkey Stock by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Two years ago: Chubby Hubby Truffles
Three years ago: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Four years ago: Empire Cookies

Homemade Turkey Stock

Yield: 4 quarts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 12 hours

Don't throw away that turkey carcass from Thanksgiving! Use it to make a flavorful homemade stock that you can freeze and use for months!

Ingredients:

Turkey carcass and bones from 14-pound turkey
1 large yellow onion, halved (unpeeled)
1 carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
5 sprigs fresh parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme

Directions:

1. Place the turkey carcass and bones in a large stockpot and cover with at least 5 quarts of water, or enough to ensure that the water covers it by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Skim off any fat or foam that rises to the surface.

2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and peppercorns. Reduce the heat to low so that the stock is at a very slow simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours.

3. Add the parsley and thyme to the stock and simmer for an additional 2 hours.

4. Pour the stock into a large bowl through a fine-mesh sieve and discard all of the solids. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until a noticeable skin forms on the surface. Using a spoon, skim off the layer of fat, then let the stock cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

5. The next day, remove the layer of fat that has collected on the top of the stock, then portion out the stock into quart-size containers or freezer-safe ziploc bags and store. The stock can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up 6 months.

Share This Post...



27 Responses to “How to Make Homemade Turkey Stock”

  1. Mediterranean Baby on November 27, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Thank you for making stock so accessible!!! You are so right – - and it makes the best stock. It’s so worth getting over your fears! Happy Thanksgiving, Michelle!

    Reply

  2. Pieliekamais on November 27, 2013 at 5:57 am

    I’m trying to come up with alternatives to plastic when it comes to freezing stock. Any suggestions? I was thinking washed out milk cartons might work.

    Reply

    • Dawn on November 27th, 2013 at 10:43 am

      Try freezing in ice cube trays and then store them in freezer in container of your choice.

      Reply

  3. Zainab on November 27, 2013 at 6:52 am

    I’m a newbie when it comes to stock so forgive me but what happens to all of the vegetables after you’ve finished making and straining the stock?

    Reply

    • Kerry on November 27th, 2013 at 12:36 pm

      I just throw them out. Not worth saving, in my opinion, as their flavor has already gone into the stock.

      Reply

    • Michelle on November 27th, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      I discard them.

      Reply

  4. Jamie Claire on November 27, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Thank you for posting this! I’m making my first turkey EVER this year (weird for a food blogger, but I’m first and foremost the very lucky daughter of an amazing home cook) and I’m already hating the thought of all of the waste. I will definitely make stock with the bones, etc., now!

    Reply

  5. Nancy G on November 27, 2013 at 8:15 am

    I always make turkey stock the day after Thanksgiving. As crazy as it sounds, after that big meal, I really want to keep the good smells going in the house and straight-up turkey soup the next few days is heavenly!

    Reply

  6. Sharon on November 27, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Thanks for the recipe for turkey stock! We always make Turkey Noodle Soup. Best soup. Ever!

    Reply

  7. Robby on November 27, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Once I have skimmed and defatted my stock, I like to simmer (not a fast boil) it and reduce by about half. You need less storage space, and you can always add water when you’re ready to use it.

    Reply

    • Pieliekamais on November 27th, 2013 at 9:53 am

      Oh, further reducing it, awesome. Thanks for the idea.

      Reply

  8. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on November 27, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I roasted a chicken and made stock with the carcass last week. It was so much better than I ever thought it would be, I can’t wait to do the same with turkey this year!

    Reply

  9. Becca @ Crumbs on November 27, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I’m afraid I am guilty of throwing away carcasses but know I really shouldn’t. Stock time it is!

    Reply

  10. Prudy on November 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Ok, you’ve inspired me. I’m going to do this on Friday… I think I’ve never made turkey stock, because my aunt used to make the most awful turkey soup you ever wanted to taste. It just turned me right off. God rest her soul, she was a horrible cook. A most loving aunt, but horrible cook.. lol. This looks wonderful. Count me in for sure. :-) Have a wonderful Thanksgiving..

    Reply

  11. Emily on November 27, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I’ve started making all my stock in the crock pot. Throw everything in and leave it overnight. So easy and, for me, less work than making sure the pit is simmering for a few hours. I think it’s better as well.

    Reply

  12. Aj on November 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    How do you handle the bits of meat that are still on the bones?
    Do you leave them in the stock or discard them?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 30th, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Hi Aj, I leave them on the bone for making the stock, but everything gets strained out when it’s done.

      Reply

  13. Amy on November 29, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I always thought it felt too wasteful to discard such a large batch of vegetables, but then I picked up the tip of collecting the ends of stock veggies (ends of onions, celery, carrot, etc.) in a ziplock bag in the freezer. Whenever I chop something up, I throw the bits I don’t use into the bag, and after a while, I have a bag full of veggies ready to make a great stock. Talk about reducing waste all around!

    Reply

  14. Shannon F on November 29, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    It has been a few years since I have taken the time to make stock. I forgot how easy it is to do, and now I am stocked up. Thanks!

    Reply

  15. Jana on November 29, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! I used this to make stock with my turkey carcass and your gravy recipe to make the BEST gravy for our Thanksgiving. I froze all the leftover stock and I am excited to just pull it out of the freezer for some delicious homemade soup this winter! I followed your recipes exactly and it all came out perfectly.

    Reply

  16. Jenny F on November 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    While I wash the Thanksgiving dishes, my husband strips the meat off of the bird, and he makes the stock. Then we all enjoy dessert while it’s simmering away. We freeze most of the stock, but always leave some out for turkey soup a day or two after Thanksgiving. So easy and so good. :-)

    Reply

  17. Clare on December 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Michelle,
    I’m curious to know if you use the fried turkey carcass. I always throw mine out as it’s so nasty and greasy after being fried. I regularly make chicken stock when I roast chickens and use a similar method to you. How do you make the stock taste good with a fried bird?!

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 2nd, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Clare, I do use the carcass from the fried turkey. I’ve done it two years in a row and have never found it to be all that gross. In fact, I was surprised this year that there was hardly any grease to skim off the top!

      Reply

  18. Kathryn on December 30, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Hi Michelle, I was curious as to why you say to not peel the onions? Does it add something to the flavour? I’m making the stock right now and it smells great so far!

    Reply

    • Michelle on December 30th, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      Hi Kathryn, It does impart some extra flavor, as well as color. Enjoy the stock!

      Reply

  19. Mary Ellen Riley on January 27, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Was your stock cloudy before it separated in the fridge?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 28th, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Hi Mary Ellen, No, it wasn’t particularly cloudy, but it might differ based on how much fat was on the turkey scraps.

      Reply

Leave a Comment





(Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for your patience! If it is your first time commenting you may want to review the Comment Guidelines.)