As delicious as the main course can be, Thanksgiving leftovers sometimes steal the show. Old standbys like layered sandwiches with turkey and cranberry sauce or casseroles are delicious after a meal. But there’s one important leftover that might not be on your radar: turkey carcasses.
Just like pasta water is liquid gold, your turkey carcass is too valuable to discard. Making turkey stock is simple and similar to making chicken stock, but some extra attention to the turkey carcass and seasonings will take your soup to the next level.
And before you get started, here’s a pro tip: Since chopping vegetables for turkey broth will be the last thing you want to do after cooking a Thanksgiving feast, set some vegetables aside as you prepare for the main event. Let’s prepare for. For example, if you’re making stuffing, chop two extra celery stalks and one yellow onion and set them aside. When preparing carrots as a side dish, chop an extra two carrots.
How to Make Turkey Broth
The sooner you prepare your stock the better, but you can wait as long as two or three days.
- Remove meat from carcass (save it for making soup later!) and break bones into large pieces.
- Place the bones in a stockpot with the mixed vegetables and add enough water, about a gallon, to cover.
- Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about three hours.
- For an extra boost of flavor and spice, add some whole black peppercorns when the broth is simmering.
- Your turkey is already seasoned so the stock should have excellent flavor. But you can also season with basil, parsley and thyme at the end.
- When your stock boils, skim off the fat from the top.
- Remove large pieces of bone, then carefully strain liquid through a cheesecloth-lined colander.
- Finally, discard the vegetables and herbs and store the stock in containers. Use it immediately or freeze it for up to three months.
Homemade stock has endless possibilities, but one of our Tips editors highly recommends using it for This recipe from Food.com, Packed with colorful vegetables and protein, this hearty turkey vegetable soup is the perfect comforting winter meal.
Make it ahead for the post-holiday weekend when curling up with Netflix will probably feel better than cooking. Pair it with crusty bread, and we guarantee it’ll become a holiday tradition your family looks forward to every year.