Domestic Goddess Cooking Tip – Turkey Stock-Recipe Included (2019 Updates!)

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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.
whole peppercorns

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!

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Goat Milk & Honey Panna Cotta

Goat Milk & Honey Panna Cotta

My daughter is lactose intolerant and she takes a Lactaid to negate most of the effects. We aren’t quite sure if she is intolerant of the milk protein, but large amounts of dairy, especially cream dairy does not agree with her. As such, I’ve had to learn how to modify her favorite dessert: Panna Cotta

While standing in front of the dairy case, I spotted Goat Milk. Hmmm, I wondered how that would taste in a Panna Cotta? I grabbed a carton and sped home to whip up a batch. Honey is a natural companion to goat, and the real vanilla bean gives it added punch.

It turned out so well, I think this will be a semi-regular dessert to have around the house. While tinkering with the milks, I also leaned the recipe out tremendously. I made a quick jam out of frozen blueberries to go on top. I hope you enjoy this extremely tasty version of Panna Cotta as much as we do. The best part is, you can enjoy and not feel guilty!

Goat Milk & Honey Panna Cotta

2 cups goat milk
1.75 cups lactose free milk (I use 1% organic)
.25 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup honey
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt (I used Himalayan pink)
1 package gelatin (1 tbsp)
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

In a 2qt saucepan, add 1 cup of the milk, the vanilla bean & seeds, and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let sit for 5 mins to bloom.
Bring this mixture to just under a boil. Bubbles will appear around the edges of the pan, the gelatin will dissolve as well as the sugar and honey. Let steep for 5 mins to extract flavor from the bean. Remove the bean add the rest of the milks, stir to combine.

Portion out in to serving dishes. I like to serve mine in wine glasses, but ramekins work well to. This makes 6 generous servings. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Serve by itself, or garnished with a homemade jam, berries, mint and a little whipped cream.


Salt Brined Roasted Turkey

Salt Brined Roasted Turkey

Since I posted the photo of my Leftovers Soup, I thought it fitting to show the turkey meal from which it started. While I’m at it, I thought I’d share a couple of cooking ideas and tips I’ve learned along the way.

I favor organically grown, free-range, non-injected birds. I know they are a bit more in cost, but I can be sure there are no added hormones or pesticides to mess with my still maturing/developing daughters bodies and ensure the animals were raised and slaughtered ethically and humanely. As mentioned in a previous post ‘Todd & A Well Stocked Freezer‘, I get most of my meat from the local farmer who takes it to the local butcher. However, I don’t yet have a source for my poultry, so I look for the best I can find at my grocer.

When you bring home your bird, remove the neck bone from the cavity and the innards from the neck flap. (if you have them) Then gently slide your fingers under the skin of the breast, loosening it on both ends. Try not to rip or tear the skin. Then, take kosher salt, and lightly rub on the breast meat in between the flesh and the skin. This will give your fingers a good workout and yes, it will be a bit chilly. But take heart, while your digits shiver, your turkey meat will come out seasoned, tender and juicy. I can’t give you an exact amount of salt to use, just make sure you’re not slathering it on. You will want it LIGHTLY dispersed. Then give the skin and thighs a good liberal rubbing of the salt, place on a dish or platter and wrap in saran wrap. I put a clean kitchen wash cloth under the bird to absorb any juices that it might give off. You can also use a few paper towels, but I find those can get kind of slimy.

Then put in the fridge and let sit for a couple of days. This is ‘dry’ brining. It’s results are similar to wet brining- juicy flavorful and tender meat – but this method allows the skin to cook up and not be all flabby soggy.

After a couple of days, the process should be complete and you can cook that baby up. I use an air roaster oven because it frees up my regular oven for yummy dishes like this creamed spinach. I got the idea from Emeril over at the Food Network, but modified it a bit by adding parmesan and baking it after cooking on the stove top. It was just scrumptious.

While the turkey was cooking I boiled a combination of jersey sweet potatoes with red potatoes, along with a thinly sliced leek. Try this sometime: cook the onion with the potatoes, then drain and mash together, its delicious! You can ‘scent’ your liquid with herbs, garlic, shallots or leeks. For example, rosemary scented mashed potatoes is a delicious pairing with lamb.

To make the gravy, simply pour all the drippings from your turkey (i baste my bird with white wine, butter and sage, it adds a lot of flavor to the gravy) in to a fat separator, pour a few tablespoons of the rendered fat in to a saucepan. Add equal amounts of gluten free flour and cook it a bit to get the starchy taste out of the flour. I figure I need about 1tbsp of fat and flour for each cup of gravy. Then add back those yummy drippings along with enough chicken stock to make a gravy. If you have time, it’s nice to make a turkey stock from the neck & gizzards, but chicken stock works as well. The wonderful thing about brining your bird is that the drippings are naturally seasoned. You will need very little salt, if any. Adjust the seasoning, if need be. I added a healthy sprinkle of Penzeys “Mural of Flavor” to mine.

Also, another trick is to pour the gravy back in to the roasting pan, (or make it in the pan) and really scrape up to include those bits called ‘fond’. It will add depth to your gravy, or any pan sauce you make.

Dry Brining is excellent to use for any thick cuts of meat such as roasts. I used this technique on my Christmas Prime Rib Roast.

So say goodbye to blah and bland meat. Give this simple and yet effective technique a try. I think you’ll be very pleased when your family and friends say YUMMMMM.