Episode 048 is the fourth in a series all about turkey! In the series, Taryn goes over how to smoke a turkey from start to finish, including what to do with the leftovers. This fourth episode in the series is about how to make turkey stock from a carcass. Listen in to hear how simple it is to make your own stock, why you should do it, and lots of helpful tips!
These are some of the recipes mentioned in the episode, all of which are on Hot Pan Kitchen.
- Turkey Stock Recipe
- Leftover Turkey and Rice Soup
- Paleo Turkey Tortilla Soup
- Paleo Ground Beef Stroganoff
- Hamburger Soup
Some of the following are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Episode 45: Spatchcock A Turkey
- Episode 46: Dry Brine A Turkey
- Episode 47: Smoking A Turkey
- Large stock pot
- Large cutting board
- Fine mesh strainer
- OXO Silicone storage cubes
- Souper cubes
Taryn Solie: Hello grillers, and thank you for tuning in today! I am your host, Taryn Solie, and I am here to give you some grilling inspiration. Typically I go over one standalone recipe in detail per episode, but today is a little different – it’s the fourth in a series I’m doing on smoking a turkey.
In episode number 45, the first in this series, I went over how to spatchcock a turkey, which just means you remove the back bone and lay it flat for cooking. This helps it cook faster and more evenly. Then in episode 46 I described how and why to dry brine a turkey – basically it helps lock in the moisture so your turkey turns out nice and juicy. Episode 47 was all about how to actually smoke the turkey. And today’s episode is the next step – one that you may not take – but how to make stock from the turkey skin and bones.
Before we get into that though, I want to tell you why this is worth doing, because I know it may sound like a bit of a pain. But honestly, it’s actually quite easy and the main reason I do it is it gives you such good, flavorful broth. My family likes to just drink the warm broth on it’s own, but it’s also great to make soups with.
I have several soups that are made with leftover turkey stock, like my turkey and rice soup and my turkey “tortilla” soup – and I’m using quotation marks around the word tortilla because I don’t actually use any tortilla in the soup, it’s a dairy free, healthier version of the traditional tortilla soup.
Another reason I like to make stock with the carcass of the turkey is I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. I know that may sound silly, but people pay good money for a turkey and making broth from it helps you get your money’s worth! So there’s that too.
I do want to note, before I go further, that I’m going to use the words broth and stock interchangeably. Technically they are two different things, though there isn’t that much difference. From what I’ve researched, stock is usually made with bones and tends to gel from the collagen in those bones when cooled, and broth is usually made from meat and is thinner than stock. This recipe will give you more of a stock since we’re using the turkey carcass, both skin and bones.
Okay, let’s get into the recipe. To make this turkey stock, you’ll need:
- 1 turkey carcass from a 14 to 16 pound bird, broken down so it fits into a large stock pot;
- 1 large onion;
- 1 small shallot;
- 2 medium carrots;
- 2-3 celery stalks with leaves;
- 1/2 cup mushroom stems – I prefer stems from shiitake mushrooms, but use what you have;
- 2-3 sprigs fresh parsley;
- 2 large stems of fresh thyme;
- 1 dried bay leaf;
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt; and
- 20-24 cups of water
A few tips before we get to the recipe instructions. First, I mentioned the mushroom stems in the ingredients. If you are not a mushroom fan or are allergic to mushrooms like my mother in law, you can skip them but they really do add a nice depth of flavor. If you don’t have the stems themselves, you can use whole mushrooms. I would chop them into large pieces and still use 1/2 cup. However, if you make any dish with mushrooms I would practice saving the stems in a little sealable plastic bag that you keep in the freezer. I have one labeled “stock” that I put the end bits of veggies in, like the bottom of a bunch of celery or the top part of a carrot – not the leaves, just the top orange part – and I store my mushroom stems in that. If you need recipe suggestions for dishes with mushrooms, try my ground beef stroganoff or my hamburger soup – I’ll link to both on the show notes page.
Okay, a couple more tips:
- Make sure you’ve taken the majority of meat off of your turkey carcass before you start. You don’t need it for the stock and it can be used to make what I call a Round 2 recipe, which is a fancy way of saying leftovers. I already mentioned the two turkey soup recipes, but you can also do turkey enchiladas or turkey chili with leftover meat. I’ll put some links for leftover turkey recipes on the show notes page.
- The directions today are for on the stove, but you can make this stock in the slow cooker if you have a large enough one. Just make sure you pour enough water in to cover everything. Cook on high for 4 hours, then follow the rest of the steps to drain and store the stock.
- And lastly, this stock is not very heavily salted and comes out more like a low sodium stock. If you’re using it to make a soup, be sure and taste the soup as you’re cooking it to make sure it’s salted to your liking. You may need to add more salt than the recipe calls for depending on how salty you like your food.
Ok, I think I’ve given you enough tips, so let’s get to the recipe itself! Start out by taking out a large stock pot and place the turkey carcass pieces in it. You may need to break the bones up a bit to get them to lay in the pot without peeking over the top. Set it aside while you get to work on the vegetables.
Peel off the skin of the onion and and chop it into quarters with a large sharp knife on a cutting board. Peel and chop the shallot in half and place both the onion and shallot in the stock pot with the turkey carcass. Trim the ends of the carrot off with the knife and cut it into roughly one inch pieces. Cut the celery into three or four pieces and put both the carrot and celery into the pot. Don’t sweat how big or small your veggie pieces are here – it’s really more about making sure everything fits in the pot with the carcass.
Next add the mushroom stems, fresh parsley, fresh thyme – the whole stem, you don’t need to take the leaves off – dried bay leaf, and kosher salt into the pot. Use a measuring cup to pour the water in as well, making sure it covers all the ingredients. Depending on how big your bird is, you may need more or less water. I typically have around a 14 pound turkey but if you had a bigger one you will likely need more water unless you’ve really broken down your bird.
Place the pot on the stove and cover it with a lid. Turn the heat on the stovetop burner to high and bring the ingredients to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer, partially covered with the lid, for 3.5 to 4 hours.
Once the broth is done cooking, you’ll need to do some switcharoo with the broth itself and the ingredients. Take the pot off the heat and use a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon to remove any remaining bones, vegetables, or herbs. I typically do this by setting a large container right next to the pot and placing the remnants in there. You can throw these away, though let them cool before you do that so you don’t end up with literal hot garbage in your garbage can.
Next place a fine mesh strainer over a different large pot and pour the broth into that pot, straining any last bits of bones or vegetables out. Take out your storage containers and pour the broth into them using a ladle or a funnel. Let the broth containers cool completely before putting them in the fridge or freezer.
A quick word on storage containers – if I know I’m going to be using the stock right away, I usually use mason jars to store the broth. You could also use something like a tupperware dish. If I’m not going to be using the broth right away, I will pour the broth into freezer-safe containers, which mason jars typically are not. I have some large silicone cube trays that work well, and I know a lot of people like the containers by souper cubes which are basically the same thing. I will link to both on the show notes page in case you’re looking for freezer storage options.
And that’s it! You’ve made your stock and it’s all stored away ready for use. I will tell you, this stock is one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving – or just cooking a turkey in general. Even if we don’t host Thanksgiving, we usually still get a turkey to smoke so that we can enjoy both the meat and the stock. It’s that good.
I have a post on my website, Hot Pan Kitchen, with pictures and the directions I just gave for how to make turkey stock if you’re more of a visual person. I’ll put a link to that post in the show notes page for this episode. To get the show notes page, you can either go to my main website at Hot Pan Kitchen dot com and click on podcast in the main menu, or you can click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you’re listening on.
If you enjoyed this episode, I would love it if you would subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform. And don’t miss out on the last episode in this turkey series, where we’re going to make one of those Round 2 recipes I was talking about – a super tasty soup. So be sure and listen in for that.
That’s it for today, thank you so much for listening, and until next time, keep grilling like a mother.