I’ve always considered myself a cheap person. But my mom told me that wasn’t a nice thing to say about myself and suggested I go with “thrifty.” I can’t stand to throw anything away when I know it can be used to create something else. Waste not, want not. Plus, I gain great pleasure in reducing my carbon footprint in any way possible. One way I accomplish this is by making my own stock from animal parts I wouldn’t otherwise want to eat.
Don’t Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock
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I also feel like I owe it to the animal. I mean, the poor thing died to put food on our table, the very least I can do is show a little respect and not go throwing useful parts in the trash. Especially the heart, it was the cutest little tiny thing. I’m weird, I know, anatomy was my favorite class of all time. I kind of wanted to eat it, maybe next time.
First, you must be able to identify the parts, or giblets, of your turkey. I really don’t think I needed to label the neck. . . but I did just to be on the safe side. Usually when you purchase a turkey, the neck and giblets are stuffed inside the cavity of the bird. The giblets are sometimes packed neatly inside a bag. Don’t throw away these wonderfully useful parts! If you cannot make stock right away, simply throw them all into a zip top baggie and toss them in the freezer for later. The parts you will want to use for this turkey stock are the neck, heart and gizzards. Discard the kidneys and liver, as these organs can turn your stock bitter.
To the bottom of a large stock pot, add the turkey neck, heart and gizzards, one celery stalk with leaves, one carrot, one onion sliced in half, two cloves of garlic sliced in half, half a teaspoon dried thyme, half a teaspoon whole black peppercorns, and one bay leaf. Don’t worry about peeling anything as you will be straining the liquid off and discarding the solids.
Next, add three quarts (12 cups) of water to your stockpot. Place pot on the burner over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, partially cover with the lid, and reduce the heat to medium low. You want a nice simmer. Allow the stock to simmer for at least one hour.
Place a large strainer inside a large bowl. Make sure the bowl has a large enough capacity to hold all of the stock. Once the stock has been simmering for one hour, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Pour the stock into the colander, making sure to be very careful! Go slowly and don’t allow the solids to splash down into the broth and burn you. Seems like common sense but that may have happened to me once or twice when I got in a hurry.
Pull the strainer out and pour the stock back into the pot. Return to the burner and simmer for an additional 20 minutes to intensify the flavor. Discard the solids. You can pick some meat off the neck and even eat the heart and gizzards if you like.
One of my favorite things about making my own stock is that I can control the amount of sodium in my recipes. Prepackaged stocks and broths are extremely high in sodium, although they do offer low-sodium options. I hope this easy recipe inspires you to make your own stock the next time you purchase a whole turkey or chicken. This method works the same for both. Stock freezes well if you don’t immediately need it for a recipe.
Thanks for stopping by today! Check out some other economical and money-saving recipes before you go (PS-they’re delicious too!):
Above you will find some of the equipment useful while preparing turkey stock.
Obviously, a large stock pot is essential.
Victorinox knives are my favorite and make chopping any vegetables easier.
Love this strainer for it’s sturdy bottom and smaller holes.
Wooden cutting boards are my favorite and this size would be great for this recipe, and many others.
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