Simmer turkey bones with vegetables, fresh herbs, and other seasonings for a rich homemade turkey stock that can be used as a base for other delicious recipes.
After roasting and carving a turkey for the holidays, don’t throw away the bones. Instead, use them to make turkey stock. Homemade turkey stock is great for turkey soup or as a base for turkey pot pie. Stocks are a good way to add flavor when cooking rice or pasta. Stocks are also a base for flavorful gravy.
How to Prepare
Making homemade turkey stock is quite easy. In a large stockpot, like this one, add the turkey bones or whole carcass. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic, if desired. Next, add the herbs. I like using fresh herbs in stocks – rosemary, sage, and thyme. I also add bay leaves and whole peppercorns. Cover the bones with water. If using a whole turkey carcass like I am in these photos, the carcass will start to break down as it simmers. Therefore, it doesn’t need to be fully submerged in water at the beginning. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Then cover and lower to a simmer for two hours. Remove the bones and vegetables. Strain the broth into quart-sized containers. The broth will last for several days in the refrigerator or can be frozen up to six months.
Uses for homemade stock
Turkey stock can be used to impart lots of flavor to many different recipes.
- a base for turkey soup
- a base for turkey pot pie
- cooking liquid for rice or risotto
- cooking liquid for pasta
- a base for turkey gravy
- a deglazing liquid
Homemade stock is a great way to control seasonings, including the amount of salt in a recipe. The stock can be seasoned to taste with salt and pepper when added to other recipes.
You may also like this recipe for homemade Vegetable Stock.
Homemade Turkey Stock
- 1 12-14 pound turkey carcass
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 3 carrots, unpeeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large or 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, whole (optional)
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 bunch fresh sage
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
- In a large stockpot, add turkey bones, vegetables, herbs, and seasonings. Add enough water to just cover the bones. Cover and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 2 hours.
- Remove bones and vegetables. Strain stock into quart-sized containers. Refrigerate for several days or freeze up to six months.