Recipe: Homemade Turkey Stock

Thanksgiving guru Rick Rodgers' tried-and-true turkey stock recipe
Home made turkey stock recipe

"Nothing beats homemade turkey stock for making terrific gravy and stuffing. It can also be used as a flavor booster for simply sautéed vegetables like green beans, broccoli or Brussels sprouts. Any leftovers go into Friday's turkey soup. Make it!" raves Rick Rodgers, author of Thanksgiving 101 (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2007). "I have mountains of testimonials from cooks who tell me how turkey stock has elevated their Thanksgiving cooking to a new level."

Make ahead.
Prepare and refrigerate the turkey stock one day before using, to allow the fat to solidify for easy removal. The stock can be made up to three days ahead or frozen for up to three months.

Homemade Turkey Stock

Makes about 2 1/2 quarts

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds turkey wings
  • Turkey neck and giblets, but not the liver (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium celery rib, with leaves, chopped
  • 6 parsley sprigs
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 dried bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Using a heavy cleaver or large knife, chop the wings between the joints. If using the neck, chop it up, too. (If necessary, ask the butcher to do this for you.) Using a sharp knife, trim away any membranes from the giblets.
  2. Spread the turkey pieces in a very large roasting pan. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the turkey pieces are deeply browned, about 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in 10 cups of cold water, bring to a boil and let simmer, covered, while the turkey roasts.
  4. Add the turkey pieces to the vegetables and water, increase the heat to high and bring stock to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Meanwhile, place the roasting pan over two burners on high heat and add 2 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits in the pan. Pour into the pot.
  5. Add the parsley, thyme, peppercorns and bay leaf. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours.
  6. Strain the stock through a colander into a large bowl; discard the solids. Place the bowl in a larger bowl or roasting pan of iced water and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 6 hours and preferably overnight. Scrape off the solidified fat on the surface before using the stock. Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat as needed.

Small-Batch Turkey Stock

  • A smaller amount of stock can be prepared with just the turkey neck and giblets, and boosted with canned poultry broth. Look for turkey stock at your market, as it is often seasonally available. In a large stockpot, brown the neck and giblets from 1 turkey in 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, about 10 minutes. Add 1 small onion, 1 small carrot and 1 small celery rib, all chopped, cover, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add 1 quart water and four 13 3/4-ounce cans turkey broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add 4 parsley sprigs, 1/4 tsp thyme, 6 peppercorns and 1 small bay leaf. Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Makes about 2 1/2 quarts.
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