With Thanksgiving coming up I've been telling myself to get stuff ready before the big day arrives.
Gravy, stuffing…all kinds of things need stock and I'd usually bust out a box of store bought chicken stock. This year is going to be different though—I'm making my own stock!
Plenty of people out there have their own way of making a stock and broth. Technically what I'm going to spell out here is a broth. Stocks are made primarily from bones and some scrap—that's it! Broths will have more meat and seasoning in the pot. For my Thanksgiving stock (I'm just going to call it stock for the sake of simplicity) I won't add a lot of salt; a little goes a long way. I make a lot of soup stocks too. This is about the same, save for some seasonings I've omitted.
A couple of things to note before you begin:
Turkey necks are pretty cheap but are very meaty. The Herbes de Provence is something Shelby put together from herbs I clipped from our garden and dried in the kitchen. I used just a pinch to flavor. Careful with the salt and pepper; when I say add a little bit, I just mean a shake or two.
We're cooking here. We need a pot. Go grab a large stock pot, a 6-quart should do.
- 2 packages of turkey necks
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 medium onions
- 2 ribs of celery
- 2 medium carrots
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 medium Bay leaves
- Approx. 6 parsley stems, leaves on if you like
- 5 quarts of water, heated (stovetop, microwave, even hot from the tap)
- Optional: Herbes de Provence
1. Chop up the turkey necks into chunks, about 2 inches.
2. Heat the oil a little over medium, we're going to brown the vegetables and turkey.
3. Brown the vegetables first, in batches if you have to. Add a little salt and pepper. I like cooking the vegetables first because any residual browned bits in the pot will mix with the turkey when it goes in. When the onions look a little translucent, you're good. Place the browned vegetables to the side.
4. Add the turkey pieces, brown in batches. Salt and pepper a little bit with each batch. They don't have to be browned all the way, I just heated up and a little done on the outside.
5. When the last batch is done, add the bay leaves, parsley and any other seasonings you're tossing in there. Put the vegetables back in the pot.
6. Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to about medium-low. Skim the foam off the top of the stock.
7. Simmer for approximately 5 hours, stir occasionally. Scrape the sides of the pot when you do this. Get the dried bits inside the pot into the stock.
8. You’ll know it's done when the liquid has reduced to about half of the original volume. I ended up with a little more than 2 1/2 quarts.
9. Strain out the turkey and vegetables. Keep this stuff, put it to the side.
10. Refrigerate the stock.
What I like to do after it has been in the fridge overnight is skim the fat off the top. It’ll be easy to scrape the hardened fat off and toss it away. I don’t use the fat for anything, but some people say if you want to keep your stock in the refrigerator the hard fat on the top will help extend its life.
The neck bones, meat and vegetables can be used to flavor dishes or as a thickening agent. You could just throw them away but that seems like a waste. Enjoy and good luck. Leave a note here with any questions or comments.