One of my favorite things to do after Thanksgiving is to make a rich, flavorful Turkey Stock.
Or...is it broth?
I did a quick little research to figure out the difference. The first place I looked was in my Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Funny thing is, I didn't see "broth" in the index. But I did see stock...with lots of recipes. Not much help in defining the difference between the two...sigh
Then I searched the internet. And that wasn't all that clarifying, but a little better. Usually broth is made from boiling the meat and stock is made from boiling the bones. Broth is what's used for soup....stock is a flavor enhancer for sauces and such, but stock can become broth or used as broth. hmm...whatever! I boiled my turkey bones (with some meat still on them) and that's that. Whatever you wanna call it, I made it and it's good.
And it makes the house smell all wonderful again while you're making it.
Just a little preface...when I cook my turkey, I wrap it up in foil. It helps keep the turkey moist and makes it cook a little faster. Towards the end of the cooking time, I do open up the foil so the skin gets all nicely browned and crispy. The sad part is, I don't get all those pan drippings in the pan. They're in the foil. (this doesn't stop me from making wonderful gravy but makes it a little more challenging).
Soo...with that said, I pour the dripping that are left in the foil (after making the gravy) into a bowl and set that aside.
Then I remove the turkey from the foil and put it all into the roasting pan, broken up as much as possible. .
How hot of an oven and for how long? Well, I had to run to the store so I turned the oven down low...around 300' F, and left. An hour later when I returned, I cranked the oven up to about 400' F and let it cook for another 15 minutes or so. If you're going to be home....just crank the oven on high and get her done.
Once its all nice and brown and crispy (but not burned of course) carefully (cuz it's hot) place the bones and stuff into a very large stock pot then drain the pan drippings into the bowl that you set aside earlier. I may have placed the drippings bowl in the fridge to be safe.
Now...put that roasting pan on the stove and add a couple of cups of water (enough to cover those wonderful crispies and delaze that pan.
Once it's deglaze, pour it into the stock pot over those turkey bones.
Get out an onion or two, a couple of carrots, a few celery stocks and several cloves of garlic....plus a bunch of herbs and seasonings...whatever sounds good to you. I used salt and pepper, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, cumin, margoram and savory...or ya, and some parsley.
Cut the veggies into big chunks, leave the garlic whole and toss all that into the pot with the bones. Now get that bowl of drippings that you set aside and skim off the fat, dumping the rest in with the bones.
Add your seasoning and fill the pot with enough water to cover.
Bring your pot to a boil and then turn the heat down, cover and simmer away. For as long as you can. Several hours at least. All day at best. About half way through, I tasted the broth and added more seasoning.
I have a confession. I added some chicken broth granules to the stock. It just seems to add something...(besides sodium and MSG)...a flavor that I haven't figured out how to duplicate. I don't add a bunch....but some...maybe a tablespoon?
Ok....the house smells good, you've gotten lots of other things done while your stock pot has been busy making you some yummy turkey stock.
And it's done.
Let it cool a bit and then strain everything out into a very large bowl
You can still see some stuff in there....that well, maybe you don't want in there. The holes in my strainer aren't small enough so I got out a cheese cloth and very carefully strained it again, back into my rinsed stock pot (because besides the bowl it's already in, the stock pot is the only thing I have big enough to hold it all.
Look at all that crud that I strained out. Toss it. Toss it all...bones and everything. Well, if I had a blender (mine broke and I haven't replace it yet...it's on my Christmas Wish List), I probably would've put some of the stock in the blender with the boiled onions, celery and carrots and garlic and pureed them to add back into the stock...just for that added depth. But....I couldn't, so I didnt....sigh.
Anyways....Now I have this huge amount of stock. I let it cool some more and put the pot into the fridge until tomorrow. Then I'll divide it into freezer bags to save for later. Or....in the fridge for a day or two where I'll use it for something for dinner.
What will I use it for?
You'll just have to wait and see. :)