I wanted to hit you guys up before Thanksgiving so you can think ahead, or you got sick of eating leftover turkey and before you threw it away. Keep that carcass! It produces liquid gold folks … if you treat it right.
So I’m thinking ahead to Christmas. I plan on making some turkey and dumplings and also some turkey gumbo at some point. It would be a shame to use store bought stock for either of these, so I’m gonna use my turkey carcass. It’s really simple and while it does take time, it’s all pretty much passive time and you’ll have a food hangover anyway, so you’ll be hanging around the house. Might as well do something productive.
It might seem like more than you want to do after you’ve had a houseful of cranky in-laws and kids running about and a huge mess to clean, but it’s homemade stock y’all. That’s all I have to say about that. Sooo much better than that silly broth you buy in the box.
And truthfully, if you just can’t face it after Thanksgiving, break the carcass apart and stick it in a zip lock bag and freeze it. You can always make the turkey stock next weekend 😉
5 stalks of celery
cold water to cover
1 large onion or a handful of shallots, quartered and skin on
3 bay leaves
sprigs of fresh herbs, like parsley, thyme, sage
1 teaspoon salt
STOVE TOP DIRECTIONS
Take your carcass and put it in a very large pot. You may have to use two pots if you don’t have a really large one. Sometimes I’ll stick the wings and legs in one pot and the body in another. If it still has some meat on it, great. If it doesn’t, that’s ok too. If your skin is fatty, don’t include all of it or you’ll get an oily stock. Cover with cold water.
Throw in the celery, carrots, peppercorns, herbs, a large onion quartered skin on, salt, and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 2-3 hours. Just a simmer, not vigorous in any way. You want a gentle thing going on here.
PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS
Same as above, put carcass and remaining ingredients in your pressure cooker. Pressure on high for 45 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally. I will say that unless you’re just using the wings, this will not work with your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. It would be much too full. I use my pressure canner for this when I pressure it. (Yes, you can cook in that thing.)
For either method, let cool and strain the pieces parts with a fine mesh strainer or a cheese cloth. I have a super fine one for beer grains and it works perfectly.
Now you need to decide how you’re gonna store this stuff. You can freeze it in ziplocks or you can freeze (if you’re brave and careful) in wide-mouth mason jars. If you have a vacuum sealer, you can freeze, let’s say, two cups of stock in a bowl. When frozen, remove from the bowl, vacuum seal it. Keep frozen, then when you want to use it, you just put it back in the bowl you froze it in and leave it in the fridge to defrost or use your microwave or pressure cooker to defrost.
Got a pressure canner and want to can it? Here’s how I do it!