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Starting with the Turkey Stock

November 6, 2011

One of the first things I do in preparing for my Thanksgiving meal is to make a rich turkey stock.  I use it to baste the turkey, add to my stuffing and use as the broth for soup and gravy.  Turkey stock adds a layer of deep flavor versus using a chicken stock and after all; it is a turkey I’m roasting, not a chicken!!

If you’re following along on my Thanksgiving Countdown, I make the stock around the second week in November.  I contact my butcher earlier in the week to check on the availability of turkey wings and drumsticks.  If they don’t have them, he will order it for me.  Note that salt is not added as it will be added when using the stock in the final dish.  The stock could also be made a few days before Thanksgiving and kept refrigerated until needed.

Rich Turkey Stock

2 turkey wings

4 turkey drumsticks

2 turkey thighs (or a combination to equal about 4-5 lbs turkey)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, or 2 medium, root ends cut off, skin left on, quartered

4 large carrot, cut in half

3 large celery, cut in half, leaves included

2-3 garlic cloves, skin on, slightly smashed

1 small bunch parsley

2 slices of lemon

½ teaspoon whole black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large roasting pan, place the wings, drumsticks and thighs evenly in the pan.  Roast until golden brown for about 1 1/2 hours, turning once.

Remove the turkey from the roasting pan, remove the meat from the legs and thighs (if you like to eat dark meat, if not, throw it all in the pot) and place all bones in a large stock pot.   Save the turkey drippings if you are going to prepare gravy.  Add in the carrots, celery, lemon, garlic and onion.  Pour in cold water to cover the turkey and veggies about 2 inches over.  I used over a gallon of water.  Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and add in the parsley, whole black pepper.  Simmer uncovered for 2 hours.  Strain the stock and refrigerate until cold, scrape off the fat and freeze.  Allow to defrost in the refrigerator a few days before using.  Makes about 4 1/2 quarts.

If you have a Thanksgiving salad to share, stop by my Apple Walnut Salad post and add our Link through Linky Tools!

33 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2011 10:37 am

    Delicious – it really is worth making a good stock. And then thin of the lovely soup the next day with leftovers!

  2. November 6, 2011 12:41 pm

    I pretty much do the same thing, Linda, and having that stock sure does come in handy on T-Day. A few years ago I started using smoked wings to make the stock & I liked the flavor difference. Your post is a great tip, and if people follow it, their Thanksgiving kitchen will be a little less hectic. And I just happen to love a risotto made from the leftover stock. :)

    • November 6, 2011 2:36 pm

      Smoked wings? That sounds like a great idea and I can imagine the flavor is even more pronounced! I’ll have to look into that next time. Thanks for sharing that great tip!!

  3. November 6, 2011 2:05 pm

    I think this stock will add so much to any recipe you use them in. I have never made Turkey broth. Now I am really tempted to

    • November 6, 2011 2:38 pm

      Give it a try, I think you’ll like it!! Makes for a great soup base too!

  4. November 6, 2011 2:35 pm

    Are you grilling those turkey legs?! I am getting very hungry over here. What a great countdown…I am definitely going to follow along and learn.

    • November 6, 2011 2:37 pm

      Lol…those legs were roasted. Grilling would work also, but with the roasting you have all that great pan juice and bits to scrape up and add to the stock.

  5. November 6, 2011 2:43 pm

    I wish I had some to make some noodle soup! Thanks for sharing!

  6. November 6, 2011 5:50 pm

    We don’t celebrate thanksgiving here, but I can’t wait for Christmas to roll around so I can make a lovely stock like this. I had a goose for Christmas last year. Great meat, but my God it’s fatty – the stock is… well, not the best. Endless amounts of fat can be skimmed off the top and even when you think you have it all and eat it, it’s incredibly rich and fat-filled!

    • November 6, 2011 6:26 pm

      A goose is something I’ve not made…or even had for that matter. Goose for Christmas sounds so fitting and perfect! Maybe you will share with us a recipe???

  7. November 6, 2011 6:17 pm

    I’m following along. Can’t wait for the next installment. This looks just wonderful. Nothing like homemade stock.

  8. November 6, 2011 7:15 pm

    Well you know that I don’t do Thanksgiving (but might attend someone elses) but your recipe for stock is very very good, I make my own stock all the time and freeze it but next time i shall make yours, i am sure it is better.. c

  9. November 6, 2011 8:42 pm

    Another great post! With all your suggestions our holiday meal should be a breeze this year! Thanks again!

  10. November 6, 2011 8:59 pm

    I’m loving this Thanksgiving coutdown – it’s like I get to be a voyeur and partake in all the excitement without the stress of actually doing it! :) I’m taking careful notes for Christmas. Thanks Linda.

  11. November 6, 2011 11:12 pm

    I’ve never thought to use a turkey stock. Duh! What a great idea! And then I saw John’s comment about using it in a risotto after Thanksgiving. Now I’m officially sold. I mentioned this before, but you completely have the organizer in me enthralled with this countdown! :)

    • November 7, 2011 9:22 am

      I’ll use the turkey stock for my soups as well so even if you’re not doing a turkey this year, this makes a good rich base stock!

  12. November 7, 2011 12:47 am

    Delicious! I’m a HUGE fan of homemade stock….there is nothing out there to equal it! I’m SO excited that more than one blogger is doing a count-down! I can’t wait to see what you make! You’re off to an AMAZING start!

  13. November 7, 2011 1:35 am

    I’m so impressed! This stock sounds great.

  14. November 7, 2011 2:39 am

    nothing beats home made stock! I make when I can (not turkey) and freeze it for risotto’s :)

  15. November 7, 2011 7:12 am

    That stock looks so perfectly rich!

  16. November 7, 2011 7:50 am

    I have made chicken stock hundreds of times but I have never thought about roasting the meat before. I wonder how it affects the taste… Anyway, it looks and sounds excellent, so thank you for one more original idea.
    Turkey stock is all new to me too!

    • November 7, 2011 9:25 am

      Roasting the turkey first adds a deeper richness to the stock as the pan drippings are also then incorporated into the stock pot. When the stock cooled the next day I really did not have alot of fat to remove either.

      • November 8, 2011 11:04 am

        Thank you, Linda. I must try your tmethod next time I make a stock!

  17. November 7, 2011 7:51 am

    You know when I did my chicken stock post I was so surprised at the amount of people who said they usually do turkey instead of chicken. I guess i always grew up watching my grandmother do chicken and never even thought to do turkey. SO glad you have a recipe for it though and what a great one it is! Thanks

    • November 7, 2011 9:23 am

      My mother did not do a turkey stock either. It was something I learned through a cooking class years ago. It really does make a difference!

  18. November 7, 2011 9:53 am

    You cant beat a homemade stock. I love the idea of roasting the turkey before making the stock.
    ;’-) Mandy

  19. November 7, 2011 1:26 pm

    Love this idea and loving the series so far. :-)

  20. November 8, 2011 9:16 am

    Homemade turkey stock is so good. It really adds great flavor to stuffing if it is baked in a casserole instead of inside the bird. I love the countdown even though I’m going to be a guest instead of the cook.

  21. November 8, 2011 1:47 pm

    Homemade stock is ALWAYS the way to go! I would never even think about store bought anymore. Spoiled? Eh, maybe a bit, but the flavor is just so much richer. I’m so impressed with all of your preparations. I need to step it up!

  22. November 8, 2011 1:59 pm

    Your stock is just amazing…love the idea that you will have it all ready for the Thanksgiving cooking marathon.
    Hope you are having a nice week Linda and thanks for this useful recipe :-)

  23. November 8, 2011 4:10 pm

    You did such a wonderful job with this turkey stock. I’m not a huge turkey fan around the holidays but you know.. I’m thinking twice about a roast chicken after this post

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