Walking into the kids’ school this afternoon, all I could smell was turkey. In preparation for the Christmas dinner, they had cooked 12 turkeys to feed 350 kids. There is always the question of the carcass. I, along with other parents, volunteered to make up stock with the bones so that the kids could have turkey soup in the weeks following the main meal.
Making turkey stock
- 1 turkey carcass, meat removed
- 4 onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 carrots
- 4 celery stalks
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 bay leaves
The best stock is made by roasting the carcass for about an hour at 350 before you boil it. To ensure it is properly browned, check the carcass after 30 minutes, if it is a light brown, turn it over and brown on the other side. While you are browning the carcass, fill a large pot of water ¾ full and bring to a boil. When the turkey carcass is browned, add it to the pot of boiling water and turn the temperature down so that the stock is at a slow simmer. If the turkey is not fully submerged, don’t worry. After about 30 minutes the carcass will begin to fall apart and the full carcass should be able to simmer beneath the stocks surface. You’ll want to let it simmer for about 4- 5 hours. In the final hour, add the vegetables and herbs, this will bring out the best flavour. Let cool slightly.
Next remove the larger bones from the pot and pour the stock through a strainer to remove all of the bones, herbs and vegetables. These can be discarded. Let cool -I put mine in the garage overnight this time of year as it is close to freezing and protected from the animals. You can also place in the fridge once it is cool. After the stock is fully chilled, remove from the fridge and skim the layer of fat from the top.
Your stock is now ready for soup, or to freeze for storage.
If you are freezing, I use zip lock bags. Label each bag and place the sealed bags laying flat in a bread or cake tin so that they lie flat and are the same size. Once frozen, you can easily remove from the tin and they will stack compactly in the freezer.