November 27, 2017This is about... The Day After Thanksgiving TURKEY STOCK!
IT’S THE DAY AFTER THE BIGGEST FOOD DAY OF THE YEAR, AND MANY OF US WILL HAVE LEFTOVERS. Some of us, like me, even plan on it by making extra. ONE OF MY FAVORITE “LEFTOVER” MEALS, actually a required one each year, IS MY ROAST TURKEY SANDWICH. There’s nothing unusual about this creation—just a yummy construction of Thursday’s turkey, good mayo, crunchy romaine on some softer than chewier white bread, all sprinkled with salt and pepper. Beside my sandwich are 2 sides—stuffing and cranberry sauce. Ok, maybe some reheated mashed potatoes too, and gravy? Then of course, the finale--Pie. An over the top starch-fest if ever there was one. YUM! I always try to send everyone home with their own “day after” feasts. And, BEING THE KIND OF PERSON WHO CAN NEVER bare to just unceremoniously THROW ANYTHING AWAY INCLUDING A TURKEY CARCASS, I have to use that up too. So, what to do? MAKE TURKEY STOCK. It’s easy to do. Just pick most of the turkey meat off the carcass and dump it in a big pot with the veggies and seasonings. Cover with water and simmer for a few hours. Cool, skim the fat, transfer to containers AND freeze. The great thing about taking this small amount of time now, is that YOU WILL HAVE QUARTS OF TURKEY MEMEORIES TO GET YOU THROUGH THE WINTER AHEAD. LESSONS Learned: 1. Don’t throw away the turkey carcass! 2. Use this in soups and anywhere you would use chicken stock. 3. Leave a little room at the top of your freezer containers for the stock to expand when it freezes. Remember to label and date them. 4. Or, to store in Ziploc bags: prop up a gallon freezer bags inside a quart container, fill and zip to almost seal, squeeze out any air and seal tight. Make sure to label and date the bags before laying them flat in the freezer.
HOMEMADE TURKEY STOCK
1 cooked turkey carcass (about 4 pounds), meat mostly removed
1 large onion, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, unpeeled and coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
A few stems of fresh parsley and/or thyme (optional)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
about 4-5 quarts water
Make the stock:
Add all of the ingredients except salt to a large stock pot. Add enough water to cover, about 4-5 quarts. If the carcass is too large for the pot, break it up into large pieces.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot and cook until reduced by about half, 3-3 1/2 hours, occasionally skimming any foam that floats to the top.
Taste for seasoning and flavor. If you want a stronger stock, just continue simmering longer.
Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Remove the larger bones and veggies first into the strainer to drain—so they don’t splatter hot stock all over you. And then pour the stock through it.
If you would like a clearer stock—you can re-strain it-- although not necessary. Do this: Clean the strainer so no bits remain. Cover it with a few layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter and pour the stock though the strainer for a second time into a clean bowl.
Chill, remove fat and transfer to storage containers or bags. It will keep for one week in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Makes about 2-3 quarts.