Don’t Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock

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

Don't Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock


This post contains affiliate links, see below for full disclosure.

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.

Don't Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock

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.

Don't Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock

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.

Don't Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock

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.

Don't Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock

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.

Don't Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock

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!):

The Best (meatless) Chili EVER

Money-Saving Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Chicken

Simply Amazing, 5 Ingredient Oven Roasted Chicken


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.

I place affiliate links to make it easy for you to find products mentioned and used in the recipes. If you purchase a product after clicking an affiliate link, I receive a small percentage of the sale for referring you, at no extra cost to you. Purchasing through affiliate links is an easy way for you to help out your favorite bloggers. Thank you so much for your continued support!

 

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Don't Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock
Don't Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock
Don't Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock
Print Recipe
Make your own low-sodium stock with this recipe! Don't waste that bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock ensures that no part of your bird is wasted!
Servings Prep Time
12 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour 20 minutes
Don't Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock
Don't Waste That Bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock
Print Recipe
Make your own low-sodium stock with this recipe! Don't waste that bird! Easy & Economical Turkey Stock ensures that no part of your bird is wasted!
Servings Prep Time
12 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cups 5 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour 20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. Identify the neck, heart and gizzards of your turkey. Place them in the bottom of a large stock pot. Add the remaining ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, partially cover, reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Place a strainer inside a large bowl. Strain the stock and add it back to the pot. Discard solids.
  3. Return to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes to intensify flavor. Use immediately or cool and freeze for later use. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Recipe modified from Martha Stewart.

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Joyful Homemaking
~

Comments 12

  • My mom raised us to use the giblets for stock or gravy. She bought a whole chicken and used the neck, back, etc. to make stock. You took me back to my childhood, but I still do this when I buy a whole chicken.

    • That’s great! I’m a big sodium hater and so that’s when I started making my own broth and stock. So simple and just makes sense! Thanks for visiting!

  • When I was growing up, I remember my mother making this type of stock from turkey parts. She would make leftover turkey soup after Thanksgiving or make a rich turkey gravy by thickening the stock.

    • Hi, Deborah! My mother, and now I, always make turkey and noodles Thanksgiving night with the leftover turkey. This is just another way to use what you’ve got! Thanks for visiting!

  • I know how to make home made stock but haven’t been bothering with it for a long time. Your right, making your own is both economical and you know what the ingredients are.

  • Erica, I love your mother’s preference for “thrifty” over “cheap.” Reminded me of when my husband and I were out to dinner and he remarked on how little I ordered. I said “Aren’t you glad you married a cheap date?” and he said “No, not cheap, just economical.” 😀 And you and I also feel exactly the same about waste, especially meat. I make people feel bad when I say “Don’t you dare waste that; an animal gave its life for it!”

    • Thanks for the lovely words, Jean! I’m constantly correcting myself because I’m constantly calling myself cheap haha. Your husband is absolutely right! I’m glad I’m not the only person who makes other people feel bad, I’m always doing it about recycling too. Thanks for visiting!

  • This is a great tutorial for Turkey Stock! Hope you have a very special week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  • I always make stock too – thanks for sharing with I am PInnable

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