We took a break from vegetarianism for Thanksgiving, mainly because I hosted not one but two Thanksgiving dinners and we were the only vegetarians out of 20 or so people. But I figured if I was going to buy turkeys, I might as well use as much of it as possible. Many of you might still have well picked over turkey carcasses in your fridge, and this is a great way to use up every last bit and go ahead and make a little more space in your fridge.
1 turkey carcass, with most of the meat removed
1 large onion
2 large carrots
3 celery stalks
1 clove garlic, smashed
10 sprigs of thyme
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Chop the vegetables in to large pieces. You don’t need to worry about peeling them, just make sure they are nice and clean. Place all the ingredients in a large pot and add enough water to cover everything by about an inch. My large stock pot has a pasta insert, so I used the pasta insert, which made removing the turkey and veggies a cinch when the stock was finished. Simmer the stock for three hours on low. Strain the stock to remove the veggies, turkey, and spices – see how this can become much easier if you have a pasta insert?
After three hours I found my stock to still be a little weak – probably because I had to add more water to cover the veggies with the pasta insert – so I simmered mine for a while longer to reduce the stock and concentrate the flavor. I think mine cooked for six hours total. This seems like a long time, and a day killer, but it requires very little attention. I think I went for a walk, took a bike ride, and ran to the store throughout the say and just left the stock on low.
When my stock was finished, I used some as the base for turkey noodle soup for dinner, stuck some in the fridge to use in risotto later this week, and measured out several bags to freeze.