Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over 20 years. She has cooked on multiple television stations, including the Food Network.
Homemade Turkey Broth
Waste Not, Want Not!
I adore homemade broth and stock of all kinds, and I love making use of every scrap of ingredients that I purchase. This method for turkey broth yields the best of all things —vibrant, homemade taste and maximizing an ingredient's usefulness.
You've already put work into making sure your turkey was delicious, so stretch out that effort with very little additional effort and capture all those beautiful flavors for extra dishes.
I also like the economics of stretching a dish out for everything that it can give. I cook for a crowd all the time, but if your family is smaller, this turkey broth freezes beautifully. Just pack it in one or two cup portions, and pop it in the freezer.
You really don't need much, all it takes is:
- the carcass from a smoked or roasted turkey
- enough cold water to cover
- optional: 1 tablespoon white vinegar
How easy is that? A couple of notes: if you used whole citrus when you roasted a bird, toss it. The pith of the citrus will leave a bitter note. On the other hand, any herbs, vegetables or spices that were used to flavor the interior of the bird should be chucked right in with the turkey carcass.
- Pick the meat off the turkey carcass and reserve for another use.
- Place the bones and any vegetables used for roasting in a large stockpot and add enough cold water to cover. If there are juices in the roasting pan left from cooking the bird, add those as well.
- If you want, add a little vinegar. Honestly, I almost never remember it, so it's no big deal. Vinegar does help pull more of the calcium out of the carcass, so it's great if you're more organized than I am!
- Bring the pot up to a simmer, and allow the pot to simmer for a while. Two hours is minimum, and I've let them go for 6–8 hours before. The longer it simmers, the richer and deeper the flavors will be.
- Remove most of the large solids from the pot, and ladle the broth through a fine-mesh strainer. Once strained place the broth in the refrigerator and allow it to chill completely.
- Once cold, the fat will have risen to the top, and you'll be able to skim it right off. The broth is now ready to use!
Some folks through in a little white wine, and that's great as well. I prefer to wait until I finish the broth and know for sure how I'm going to use it.
Start with the Carcass of a Roast or Smoked Turkey
Simmer Several Hours
Strain the Broth
The Fat Rises to the Top
Remove the Fat
The Broth May Solidify!
Ready to Use!
Check Out the Quick Tutorial!
Make Homemade Turkey and Rice
Or Make Turkey Tettrazzini!
© 2017 Jan Charles
Claudia Mitchell on November 25, 2017:
Wish I had this a couple of days ago. I never know what to do with the turkey carcass and this would have been perfect. Usually my mother-in-law takes it home for soup, but didn't this year so I threw it out. Nice and helpful hub!