Homemade Turkey Stock – TDay Leftovers Part I

8 12 2009
Finshed Turkey Stock

Finished Turkey Stock

In keeping with our traditional of making turkey stock I’m writing this pretty late at night and kind of falling a sleep. Did you get the bad joke? Probably not because I’m tired and it made sense to me which means it is probably to subtle for anyone else! explanation? We were up late last night making our first batch ever of turkey stock soooo the tradition is last night.  And we were up late then. And I’m up late now. There you have the bad joke. I don’t ask that you find it funny; just that you ‘get’ it. That is all.

Anyway so turkey stock…. This year for Thanksgiving we roasted an on-the-bone turkey breast using a Scandinavian Roasted Chicken recipe. And like most folks who go a bit more traditional at the end of it we were sleepy and had a turkey carcass with bones, a bit of meat (maybe too much because this is my first time carving a bird), and all those other bio-bits left on the carcass which this year for the first time screamed “STOCK!” to me. In the past generally the bird bits have been fairly quiet to be honest.  So we froze the carcass and took it home with us where I gave it a nice nitch in my freezer until it was stock making time.

Frozen Turkey Carcass

Frozen Turkey Carcass

The sous chef headed this recipe up again as I was distracted by my weekend plans.  Her googling turned up this recipe for turkey stock written by engineers for engineers. Very detailed and specific with charts and photos. Perfect!  The sous chef acquired the needed veggies from the farmers market and the grocery store while I was in class on Sunday and I made the call to acquire a pot big enough for our bird and veggies bits to float around in.

I’d like to say that making stock is hard but it isn’t. Making amazing stock may be but right now I wouldn’t know the difference.  Anyway, I thawed the turkey in the microwave and then dumped it into the bottom of the fancy pot we borrowed. It is one of the double deckers that has a strainer basket inside of it so at the end we just lifted it up and ended up big bits free stock! Magical.  Anyway, after the bird was in place we put in rough chopped carrots, celery, onion, and some herbs in. Covered it all with water and then a plate and simmered for 4 hours.

Stages of Stock

Stages of Stock

After of 4 hours of simmering and adding water 2 times we split the stock (get the bad finance joke in there?!) into the stock and the chunks.  We cooled the stock in 2 pans with a very cold water bath in the sink and an immersion cooler of a metal water bottle filled with cold water.  The stock amazingly enough cooled to room temperature in about 15 minutes.

Split Stock

Split Stock

We put the stock and carrots in the fridge for later use.  The rest of the former bird and bits were thrown away this marking after having done a job well done.

Evidence this was once a bird: vertebrate

Evidence this was once a bird: vertebrate

Our stock is cloudy which either is because we let it boil rather than simmer or that we didn’t do the final small particulate strain because we didn’t have a fine mesh strainer at the time. Likely it’s both reasons.  And the hardest thing about making stock? Starting at 8pm when you know it takes AT LEAST 4 hours. We we really lucky that we got the stock cooled down in only 15 minutes so we could get to bed around 12:45 am.  All for a potpie the next night. And it was totally worth it!

The biggest challenge now? What to do with around 2 gallons of stock. We used 1 quart the next night a potpie; other than that we have no plans and only 1.75 gallons of stock left.

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