Easy Homemade Turkey Stock takes only a few ingredients, about 1 1/2 hours of time, and will take your soups, sauces, and gravies to a delicious new level!
Are you almost ready for Thanksgiving? I’ve got my turkey ordered, and since I’m going to make my Perfect Spatchcock Turkey recipe, I asked Whole Foods to spatchcock it for me this time around so it’ll be that much easier for me. It’s all about saving a little time right? 🙂
I did my turkey early 2 weeks ago primarily because:
(1) I wanted to spatchcock my turkey, so I needed to do a trial run as I’d never cooked a turkey that way before
(2) I wanted to make turkey stock ahead of time to freeze so I’d have nice, homemade stock for the best gravy ever
(3) I wanted to practice making gravy again (bourbon gravy!), because it always gives me a little anxiety. Is it just me?
The results of #2 are right before your eyes — clear, beautiful turkey stock!
When I was in cooking school, we made stock every single week like clock work because we went through so much of it. There was no store-bought stock anywhere in that place for a reason — homemade is worlds apart from store-bought. The gelatin from the bones gives it a silky mouthfeel that translates over to your sauces, soups, and gravies. And the flavor is just unbeatable!
If you’ve made homemade stock before, you know this is true, but if you’re like me, you just don’t get around to making it enough. When I have extra time or it’s a special occasion, I will make stock, and Thanksgiving is about as good a time to do it as any.
The truth is, stock is really easy to make, and besides turkey parts, takes a few simple ingredients:
The onion, carrot, and celery are the building blocks to any stock having great flavor, then we have parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns to use in our bouquet garni, which you can make out of cheesecloth, or my favorite — using the dark green top of a leek.
You can make your own stock with any variety of turkey parts…or chicken for that matter. Here, I just used the turkey parts I had on hand, which was the backbone (since it was butterflied), the neck, and heart. This batch made about 4 cups, which was plenty for me. All you need to remember is that it doesn’t matter how many turkey parts you have, you just need the aromatics and bouquet garni, and to cover everything with water about 2″ over.
The most important thing is not to let your stock come to a boil! If the stock boils, any fat that’s in it will distribute throughout the stock and make it cloudy in appearance. If you just cook it at a nice simmer, the fat or scum rises to the top and you can skim it off with a fine mesh skimmer. Super easy. 🙂
And one more thing…you can also make stock from the turkey carcass after cooking for that turkey noodle soup that everyone loves, too. I love to pop the carcass in a zip-top bag and refrigerate or freeze it until I’m ready to make soup. Turkey noodle soup with homemade stock is the.best.soup.ever, too.
If you haven’t made Easy Homemade Turkey Stock for your gravy yet, there’s still time! Buy some wings, legs, or whatever you can get your hands on and whip some up.
You’ll be so, SO glad you did. 🙂
**I will be away from my computer this week, and will respond to any questions or comments when I return. Thank you for your patience!
Turkey recipes for the big day!
Citrus Herb & Butter Roasted Turkey by The Suburban Soapbox
Mom’s Roast Turkey by Simply Recipes
Turkey Roulade with Bread Stuffing by Baked By Rachel
- Cooked or raw turkey carcass, wings, necks, backbone (if butterflied), and giblets (do not use liver!), trimmed of excess fat, and cut into smaller pieces if necessary*
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 large carrot, cut into large pieces
- 1 large stalk celery, cut into large pieces
- 1 small piece of cheesecloth or the dark green top of a leek
- kitchen twine
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig Italian flat leaf parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 peppercorns
- Place the turkey parts and aromatics into a large stock pot and fill with water until it covers the mixture by about 2". Set aside.
- Place the sprigs of thyme and parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns on the cheesecloth or leek top, and tie together with a piece of kitchen twine. Place in the stock pot with the turkey pot and aromatics, and place on the stove top.
- Heat the stock at medium heat until it just starts to come to boil. Do not let it boil as the fat or scum will distribute throughout your stock, making it cloudy. Simply simmer at about medium low, skimming the scum using a fine mesh skimmer occasionally until the stock is done, or about 1½ hours.
- Cool completely and store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container.
Don't throw away that carcass from your cooked turkey! Place it in a zip-top bag and refrigerate it or freeze it for stock/soup making.
This recipe is also perfect for chicken stock!
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.