Thanksgiving is all about flavor… and there is absolutely nothing more essential to the success of the tasty meal than a rich, fragrant and flavorful stock. A slowly simmered homemade turkey stock is incomparable in flavor and takes both the dressing and giblet gravy to another level of culinary excellence! This nectar of the Thanksgiving gods deserves an honored place on the stove as it slowly simmers, bubbling contentedly for hours over a gentle flame.
The base for our turkey stock is four quarts of rich flavorful chicken stock… from there the layers of flavor are slowly built into a complex palate pleasing tapestry. This stock is so amazingly delicious it could hold its own in a warmed bowl as a soup course… or enjoyed with a loaf of warmed crusty French bread and a hearty salad!
A key ingredient to the complex flavor of this stock is the well-browned bones and turkey parts that contribute very little to the bird as far as edible meat content is concerned. The flavors that are released into the stock, however, make every trimming, as insignificant as it might seem to be, essential. The only thing that remained unused from our turkey this year was its gobble!
Rich Homemade Turkey Stock
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the trimmed skin from the neck as well as the wings, the backbone cut into pieces with a cleaver and the neck on a large sheetpan. Roast for 1 hour to attain a rich dark brown color:
Transfer the browned parts to a large stockpot. To the hot roasting pan add:
3 -4 C chicken stock
Deglaze, scraping up all of the roasted bits clinging to the pan:
Pour this rich brown deglazing liquid into the stockpot and add:
- 4 quarts chicken stock (preferably low sodium)
- 2 large yellow onions, unpeeled and quartered
- 4 stalks celery, leaves included, coarsely chopped
- 3 large carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 leek, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 1 T whole black peppercorns
- 1 T whole coriander
Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat, at which point reduce the heat so that the stock bubbles gently. Simmer for 4 – 5 hours, adding water as required to maintain the liquid level.
Allow the stock to cool then strain it through a China cap into another large pot the rim of which will support the strainer:
Press the solids with the back of a large ladle to capture every possible drop of rich liquid:
Discard the solids and refrigerate the stock. Use this nectar of the Thanksgiving gods as an integral part of your dressing, stuffing or gravy… Bon Appetit!
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