Are you making Thanksgiving for a crowd, want a turkey stock that makes enough for your stuffing (see Netties Stuffing) and a boat load of gravy?
Domestic Goddess Tip of the Day: Clip the tips off the wings, leaving the drummie and meaty finger.
You can also add saved up chicken necks or chicken wings to your stock to ‘Oomph’ up the flavor. I always cook the Neck, Gizzards and Heart in the stock, (But do NOT add the Liver. Cook your liver separate in a small skillet with a little butter, then dice it up and add back to the gravy, along with the neck meat, diced heart and gizzard. Cooking the liver in the stock can impart a bitter taste. Trust me, it’s quite delicious and a great way to get the fam to eat organ meats)
The flavor that resides in the poultry fat is water soluble. So, by adding the fatty wings, you pull out the flavor and can then skim & throw away the fat.
(2019 Update) Over the past couple of years, I have increasingly seen my meat departments carry packages of necks, wings and gizzards BEFORE the holiday! It’s so totally awesome! Now, I head out to the grocery a week in advance (you can freeze the stock, so you could make it a month in advance if you can find the meats)
For this batch I now use 3 quarts water, add 2 necks, 2-4 wings, back bone (if included), and the gizzards (not liver). Using the added meats really increases the collagen and richness of the stock, I highly recommend to ‘go big’ and make a full stock pot of stock, then you have stock for your dressing, gravy and soup the next day.
Then again, you may want just enough for the big meal itself. Its a flexible recipe, add a bit more or less of the herbs depending on your tastes. I now add a couple palm fulls of herbs de provence and strain the stock after cooking, squeezing as much goodness out of those bones.
Here is my ‘go-to’ flexible recipe for Turkey Stock:
3 quarts of water
3-4 large Carrots, rough chopped
3-4 Stalks of Celery, rough chopped
1 Large (or 2 medium) Onions, rough chopped
1/2 a bunch of Parsley (the stocks of parsley are a great way to pinch a penny and use something people usually throw-away)
2-3 sprigs of Fresh Sage (or 1 tbsp dried)
2-3 sprigs of Fresh Thyme (or 1 tbsp dried)
Turkey Neck, heart, giblets and wing tips or whole wings, don’t forget the tail is good to clip and use in your stock also.
Let it simmer, lid off for at least an hour, maybe 2. I usually end up with about 8 cups of stock. If you do this the day before (like I do) while your turkey is brining overnight, strain and store overnight in the fridge.
(2019 Update) I make this now about 5 days in advance. When cold, the fat will rise to the top and is easy to peel off. This stock makes a gravy your family and friends will rave about…so make sure you make a big batch!
Rarely does anyone eat the the wing, while the cartilage and fat add a lot of flavor. So try this little trick of mine!