I am that relative. Yep, you know the one- the crazy aunt or goofy grandmother who comes to holiday dinner and ends up going home with a plastic bag full of turkey remnants. It was easy to hide when I was the hostess cooking and serving dinner, but now our family has handed to reigns to the next generation of cooks and I no longer have to do it. I still make my own stock however so I need those old turkey bones!
Turkey (or chicken) stock is a pantry staple for me. It is one of the most versatile ingredients you can have. A pot of homemade soup in a snap. Gravy? Just heat, thicken and pour over. The uses are endless. Making you own stock is so easy and rewarding- you have all that slow simmered flavor without all the added junk and preservatives and artificial flavors. Storing stock for future use is super easy as well- pour into freezer containers and freeze, or if you're a home canner, you can process in jars for shelf stable stock. Let's get busy in the kitchen.
Bones. All stock begins with bones. For me, the best time to make a batch of stock is during the holiday season. I can always find a turkey frame somewhere. I've been known to keep a giant ziploc bag of chicken bones in the freezer also, waiting until I have enough to make a batch. If you are not the holiday meal host, go ahead and ask if the host will part with the frame! Can't hurt!
|It's not the prettiest sight, but there is a ton of flavor|
in those bones!
|Herbes de Provence are always part of my aromatics|
|You don't have to fuss with peeling onions- just throw them in.|
I didn't have fresh celery but I have tons of dehydrated- it
gives just the same celery flavor as fresh and stores in a jar.
Let the stock cool slightly, then carefully remove the large pieces of bone and vegetable chunks and discard. Strain the stock through a fine sieve to catch all the herbs and small pieces. Place in pot and refrigerate overnight. The next day, scoop off any fat that has solidified on top. You won't get 100% of the fat but get as much as you can, especially if you are going to can it- excessive fat can prevent the jar from sealing.
If you are going to freeze the stock, ladle into freezer containers, seal, label and freeze. If you want to can the stock you must have a pressure canner. Prepare your jars and lids. Reheat the stock to boiling, ladle into hot jars, seal and process at the correct weight for your altitude for 20 minutes for pints, 25 for quarts. Complete canning instructions can be found HERE.
You now have jars of liquid gold, ready to turn into homestyle soups, rich flavorful gravies and luxurious reductions.