When in need of chicken stock, sometimes I make my own, sometimes I buy pre-made Swanson’s or Trader Joe’s in a box. At Thanksgiving, I never deviate, I always make my own stock to use for the stuffing and gravy.
Typically I buy turkey wings and legs and roast them before boiling them down to an ultimate delicious stock. This year I bought an eleven pound turkey at a ridiculously inexpensive price, taking advantage of a spend and save deal at the grocery store. The entire turkey was less than purchasing the packs of parts.
At 5:30 this very chilly morning (13 degrees said my thermometer), I started making turkey stock. Buying a whole turkey changed my game plan. I wasn’t going to roast the whole turkey, that’s next week. Instead, I combined everything and let it cook.
Beth’s Turkey Stock
11 lb turkey
3 large onions, peeled and halved
3 whole heads of garlic, unpeeled
3 bay leaves
1 bunch parsley
3 leeks, white and green parts, halved and rinsed thoroughly, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks plus inner celery leaves
1 T. dried thyme
2 T. peppercorns
1 turkey neck, season with salt and pepper and roasted
1 T. salt
Very rarely do I get everything ready as this mise en place but for this food porn blog, I had no choice but to lay it all out.
First put the turkey in the pot. I used my gigantic pressure cooker, but didn’t pressure cook. I’ve seemed to misplace my large soup pot so the pressure cooker pot had to do the job. Add everything else and fill pan with water to cover one inch above everything. Cook all day.
My house smelled fantastic today! Once finished, I scooped out and gave our old dog the carrots and funky turkey parts. When I make stock using wings and legs, there isn’t much meat to salvage. Since I used an entire turkey, I made a quick turkey enchilada casserole for the kids’ dinner tonight and they’ll most likely eat turkey tomorrow and over the weekend too! I really didn’t think the leftover meat part all the way through. Lesson learned. Good thing our boys LOVE turkey!
The roasted turkey neck helped give the stock some color, but not like when wings and legs are roasted. The Thanksgiving gravy won’t be as velvety brown as I would like, but the stock is full of fantastic flavor. I have two gallons of turkey stock in the freezer now ready to use. I will most likely use half on Thanksgiving and leave the rest for future use, maybe leftover turkey soup next weekend.
If you have never made your own stock, I recommend trying at least once. Buy the wings and legs and get roasting. You’ll love the difference in flavor from the boxed stock.
Happy Countdown to Thanksgiving! Enjoy!