A key, critical ingredient to a superb turkey gravy or soup, this Turkey Stock yields spectacular results. Sauces, soups and gravies benefit greatly from its simple, rich flavor.

Turkey Stock
Recipe type: Stocks and Foundation Sauces
Serves: 18
  • 1 meaty turkey carcass from 12 pounds turkey
  • 2 onions; quartered
  • 2 celery stalks; cut in thirds
  • 2 carrots; quartered
  • 1 leek; trimmed
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 6 Quarts water; more or less
  1. Using cleaver, chop off wings of turkey (cracking bones helps release marrow. If you've got any turkey legs -- meat, skin and all -- or better yet, if you've kept one back, crack it too.)
  2. Trim the leek and halve it lengthwise, remove outer leaves, and cut each half into thirds. Wah thoroughly to remove grit.
  3. Put stockpot on stove before starting to load it up. It will get heavy. Fill pot, starting with carcass and trimmings, then add onions, celery, carrots, leek, peppercorns, salt and enough water to cover carcass so only tip of breastbone protrudes. Cover pot and bring to boil over medium heat, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
  4. Once it starts simmering, reduce heat to low and simmer 2 hours, uncovered, never allowing a rolling boil but instead keeping it at a steady burble. Scraps of meat will be falling off bone.
  5. Remove pot from stove and cool at least 1 hour. Remove largest pieces of carcass with tongs and discard. Reserve what meat you want for soup or to feed to a pet.
  6. Set large mixing bowl in sink, then set large colander inside it. Carefully and slowly pour stock and vegetables into colander. Colander will float a bit like a lobster pot, full of bones, leaving good broth in bowl. (Most of contents of colander are now spent and ready to discard, though you may wish to fish out remaining good meat and carrots, which will be infused by stock and quite delicious and can go in turkey minestrone or to a very good dog. Discard bones, fat and other cooked vegetables.)
  7. The next several bits are rather sloshy: Rinse stock pot and colander. Line colander with cheesecloth. Pour stock through colander into pot. This will catch grit and remaining solids. Return pot of strained stock to stove and, over low heat, bring slowly to boil, 20 to 30 minutes. Reduce heat to low so stock simmers just enough that scum begins to rise. Skim intermittently. Simmer until reduced by 1/4, 45 minutes.
  8. If storing stock to use later, cool to room temperature before placing in clean jar or ice-cube trays in freezer. Refrigerated stock should be used within 2 to 3 days. (Or, after 2 to 3 days, boil stock again then store in clean jar another 2 to 3 days to make sure it doesn't become a science experiment.) Remove frozen stock from ice cube trays and store in plastic bags in the freezer.
This recipe yields 18 Cups.

Each Cup: 169 calories; 453 mg sodium; 62 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 3 grams carbohydrates; 22 grams protein; 0.25 gram fiber.

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