One of my favorite things about the day after Thanksgiving is putting the carcass and all the bones up for turkey stock! For those of you who would like one, here’s a recipe. Enjoy!!
Ummm Ummm…Turkey Stock!
bones and carcass
skin (unless you prefer to make cracklins with yours!)
pure cold water to cover (depending on the size of the bird and the size of your pot, you will need approximately 4-6 quarts of water. Just be sure that all the bones in the pot are covered by about an inch of water.)
1/2 cup mild vinegar (apple cider vinegar works well)
3 carrots, washed and chopped coarsely
3 celery sticks, washed and chopped coarsely
1 large onion, rinsed and quartered (if it is organic, throw the skins in too–they will lend beautiful color to your stock)
slight handful of black peppercorns
- Place the bones and skin in a heavy gauge, 18/10 stainless steel stock pot. (The best stock pots are tall and narrow, so that there is not a large surface area which will cause you to lose stock as it simmers.)
- Cover with pure, cold water. (See above about how much. Too much water will keep your stock from becoming gelatinous when it is cooled in the refrigerator later.)
- Add vinegar and let stand for 30 minutes-1 hour at room temperature. (The vinegar will work to draw the minerals out of the bones into the stock.)
- Bring the pot to a boil, skim and discard the scum. (You may use a flat spoon, a ladle or a skimmer–love them!–to skim the scum. Skimming is an art. You don’t want to skim off all the fat with the scum, or you will have a very flat-tasting stock. I suggest waiting until you see a lot of little bubbles on the top of the stock, and then skim for a few minutes. If the bones are good, you will not need to skim very long.)
- Add the vegetables. (You may choose to add the vegetables prior to bringing the pot to a boil. Either way is fine–earlier or later in the process. If you place the vegetables in with the bones, you will have the pleasure of skimming around all the veggies. Some people love that…some would rather put them in after skimming the scum, so they don’t have to go around them.)
- Bring the pot to a boil again if you just added vegetables.
- Lower the heat to a simmer. The temperature that your stock cooks at is important. You will be at a perfect temperature when you see movement under a relatively still top of the stock.
- Simmer for 25-35 hours or so. (Note: You do not need to leave the pot on continuously if you do not want to. You may use what I call “cumulative time”; that is, adding up the time you simmer it. Each time you turn it off, just remember to bring the pot to a boil upon returning and skim and discard the scum. Then turn the heat back down to a simmer. )
- You will know that the stock is “done” when all of the cartilage has been dissolved and you can crumble the bones in your hands with light pressure.
- Strain the stock and cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator. Hint: a long and shallow pan will allow the stock to cool more quickly because of the increased surface area.
Here’s what the stock should look like when it is cooled: