Alright people, its official. This is my first real post so you’re going to have to bear with me while I get this formatting, writing, and general blogging business down. This week was particularly brutal in terms of the academics so I decided it was time to start blogging. What better way to cope with getting your brain stomped on than creating another distraction! Anyways, I decided that since this was my first post I’d write about another recent first of mine. Last Monday was Canadian Thanksgiving and you know what that means…turkey carcasses! My mom always used ours to make soups and stocks so I decided it was time I give it a shot too.
I will admit I was a bit intimidated by this big meaty carcass but it was surprisingly easy to handle. Nothing like pulling apart bones and cartilage to really make you feel like vomiting alive. Seriously it was kind of weird but in the end not very hard and totally worth it. Once I broke it down I put it into my new stock pot(!!!), washed my hands, and wondered why I couldn’t just be like a normal person and invest in some bouillon cubes. I threw in the old standards (onion, carrots, and celery), some herbs, and cranked her up.
It simmered for literally 8 hours. I know. I had to turn it off and stick it in the fridge multiple times before I could really let it sit and cook down. It was an interesting process. The whole scooping off congealed fat part was…not my favorite, but I did enjoy the turkey smell that soon invaded every corner of my house.
After hours of simmering, stirring, and tasting I finally had a delicious stock! Now came the tricky part. I had to transfer this rather large amount of stock from my stock pot into some kind of storage container while straining out all the odds and ends I had thrown in during the cooking process. In commercial kitchens I’m sure they have huge strainers and storage contains so they can simply dump their stocks and be done with it. I, however, am not so blessed. Luckily I do have a small strainer which served its purpose quite nicely. It took me the better part of ten minutes to get everything out but it was certainly worth it.
I ended up with a beautiful stock; golden brown, hearty, and straight up delicious. I also ended up with about 3 quarts(!!!!) which is beyond awesome! The weather is just starting to get cold and nasty (so back to normal for Vancouver) which means its almost soup season! Now that I’ve got 30 million gallons of stock to use I’ll hopefully have some exciting soups to share with you very soon.
Note: I will always include recipes BUT I highly encourage you to adjust and experiment. Everyone has different palates so be sure to constantly taste your food while you’re cooking and don’t be afraid to add things that you like, and leave things out that you don’t. Happy cooking!
I pretty much winged(heh) this recipe so I encourage y’all to do the same. EXPERIMENT!! Don’t follow recipes exactly. If it doesn’t work out you learn from your mistakes and try again.
Makes approximately 3qts (Depends on how concentrated you want it)
- 1 turkey carcass, broken down into 3-4 pieces (I put in all the extra skin and meat that hadn’t been stripped off too)
- 3 medium yellow onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and segmented
- 3 stocks of celery, chopped
- ~10-14 cups of water, enough to fill the pot and cover your carcass (it took me 14 cups. I know.)
- 4 sprigs of parsley
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 3 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 3 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 whole bay leaves
Throw the carcass, onions, carrots, and celery in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Fill with water till carcass is just covered. Turn heat to medium-low and add all other ingredients. Keep at a low simmer for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally (I barely stirred mine, apparently it makes it cloudy if you stir it? Who knows. Mostly I just poked around and pushed stuff down from the surface) Make sure to taste regularly and add seasoning as necessary or desired. After the stock has cooked down to desirable concentration strain and put into a storage container in the fridge overnight. It should have congealed in the fridge and all the fat solids will have come to the surface. Scrape off the fat layer, separate, and store stock as desired!