Basic Turkey Stock

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Using homemade stock to make soup has amazing results- the difference from store-bought is unreal!  This stock has a rich and beautiful color- after cooking for 8 hours. I look forward to making it and using in my winter soups every year after Thanksgiving. This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

Yield:  Makes 9 to 10 quarts

  • 5 pounds leftover Thanksgiving turkey bones (with some meat still attached), broken into large sections if necessary (I break them down after they have been cooking for a while)
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled, roots intact, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 1/2 pound carrots, cut into 4-inch lengths
  • 1/2 pound celery stalks, cut into 4-inch lengths
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, or to taste
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • 8 sprigs parsley and 2-3 sprigs of other fresh herbs such as thyme
  • parmesan rind, optional
  • water, to cover
  1. In a large stock pot (I use an enormous pasta pot), combine all ingredients and fill with enough cold water to cover everything by 3 inches when submerged. (The turkey bones always reach the top of my pot until I am able to break them down.) If you don’t have a large stockpot, use two smaller pots.
  2. Bring to a rapid simmer over high (do not boil); reduce heat until bubbles barely break the surface. Simmer until flavorful, about 6 to 8 hours, skimming stock with a ladle every hour. Keep the stock at a bare simmer; a hard boil would evaporate too much liquid and make the stock cloudy. Any fat that remains after skimming can be easily removed once the stock is chilled.
  3. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard vegetables. Remove meat from bones and save for another use, if desired; discard bones. Let stock cool completely before refrigerating.
  4. After refrigerating, skim the solidified fat off of the surface. Decant into storage containers. (I use quart-sized take-out containers.) To store, refrigerate, up to 1 week, or freeze, up to 6 months.

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