Can you believe Thanksgiving is TOMORROW? Seriously, where has the year gone?? I doubt many of you will be reading this because hopefully you are all enjoying great time with loved ones, but I thought I'd interrupt this program for a special reminder from yours truly…
Don't throw away your turkey carcass when you're done with it!
You can use it to make the best homemade stock! Freeze it, can it, make soups galore and give it to neighbors, or make gobs of freezer meals out of it. It's easy, reduces waste by reusing the parts of the turkey that you would otherwise toss, and is basically free…plus it's so easy to do! Here's how…
How to make your own stock from a turkey carcass
I had never thought about saving my chicken or turkey carcasses to make stock until I watched my MIL do it. Turns out, it's a great money saver and a great way to use every literal part of your bird! I found THIS article that explains in detail how to do this. Enjoy the (horrible, sorry) pictures below, taken at my MIL's house at Thanksgiving several years ago.
- Roast the turkey rather than fry it, if possible, has a better “stock” flavor.
- When serving the turkey, take most of the meat off the bones (including the meat on the leg and wings). Serve the meat, but reserve the bones, cartilage and skin, along with the carcass, for the stock.
- Remove all traces of stuffing and vegetables from from the carcass. If you are not going to make the stock within a day, freeze the bones and carcass.
- Break up the bones and carcass and put the whole lot in a large stock pot, soup pot, or dutch oven. Make sure there is no piece sticking out above the pot–if there is, break it or cut it further.
- Fill the stock pot with enough cold water to cover the bones. Some skin and bones will float–that is fine. Add carrots, celery, and seasonings to add flavor and yummy-ness.
Simmer, partially covered, for two hours or longer. You can cook the stock overnight if you wish. Just make sure you turn down the heat and cover the stock pot tightly so it doesn't lose too much water. Check once after about half an hour to make sure it's not boiling.
Strain it with a metal strainer once finished cooking, let cool.
When the turkey stock is lukewarm, use immediately or pour it into freezer safe food containers and freeze. Or reduce the stock with salt and refrigerate. If you prefer a low-fat stock, stick the stock, still in the bowl, into the refrigerator and skim the layer of fat off the next day.
Enjoy all the cheap, yummo goodness your Turkey Bird will provide you!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone,