Homemade Turkey Stock Recipe

Stove Top and Slow Cooker Method

Do not throw out those leftover turkey bones – make Homemade Turkey Stock!

My favorite thing to do the morning after Thanksgiving is to make homemade turkey stock from the turkey carcass.  It is so easy to do and so delicious!  Homemade turkey stock can be used in any application that you would normally use store bought stock.  Of course, my favorite use of homemade stock is for making homemade soup.

The turkey stock can be used for a delicious soup or frozen for future use.  I love a good homemade turkey soup and after the heavy Thanksgiving meal,  it is just what my family needs.  Be sure and refrigerate your turkey carcass after Thanksgiving until you are ready to make your stock.

 

Turkey Stock

 

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Homemade Turkey Stock Recipe:

Turkey Stock Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Yield: serves many

Ingredients:

1 leftover Turkey Carcass* 
10 to 12 cups cold water** 
1/2 cup carrot slices 
1 celery rib, cut into 1-inch pieces 
1/2 large onion, cut into chunks 
2 to 3 cloves garlic
1 small whole dried red chile pepper, optional

* Strip the turkey carcass of any large usable pieces of meat; set turkey meat aside and refrigerate until ready to use in your soup.  Do not add the giblets.

** Enough cold water to cover all the ingredients in the pot by at least one (1) inch.

 

Instructions:

 

Turkey Carcuss

 

Stove Top Method:

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, place turkey carcass (take the remains of the turkey after it has been carved and break it into pieces so it will fit in your pot; cover with cold water by at least 1-inch).  Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and red pepper (optional) to the soup pot.  Add any other vegetables that you like, if desired.

Cover pot and slowly bring to a simmer. As soon as you start to see boiling occur, immediatly reduce heat to low and skim off any scum on surface.  Scum is the filmy layer of extraneous or impure matter that forms on or rises to the surface of a liquid or body of water.  Cover pot and let slowly simmer approximately 3 hours.

TIP:  The key to a good stock is to bring the water to a boil just once at the beginning and then lower heat and cook at just barely a simmer for the remainder of the cooking time, as long slow cooking is best to extract all the subtle flavors. Do not let the stock reach a rolling boil!

After cooking, remove from heat and discard all the turkey bones, meat, and vegetables (since your have cooked the mixture for a long time, there is no nutritional value left).  Strain the remaining liquid to remove smaller particles in the stock (pour the liquid through a fine mesh sieve placed over a large pot).

Place strained stock into shallow containers and refrigerate immediately.  Refrigerate soup stock overnight and skim any congealed fat from the surface in the morning.  The juice will gel up after being refrigerated, but will dissolve when stock is reheated later.  This is because of the natural gelatin in the turkey bones.

The stock will last for about a week in the fridge.  You can freeze the cooled stock and it should maintain taste and quality for about 4 to 6 months.

You now have the most wonderful low-fat turkey stock to use in making a delicious turkey soup or to freeze for later use. 

 

Crock Pot or Slow Cooker Method:

Place turkey carcass and vegetables in your slow cooker, add enough cold water to cover the ingredients. Turn heat on low, cover, and let cook approximately 10 to 12 hours (this time can vary).  

Once the stock is finished cooking, let it cool in the refrigerator.  Skim off the fat if needed.  Remove the carcass or bones.  Strain the broth well.

 
How to keep homemade turkey stock from getting cloudy:

Skimming the scum that comes to the surface during the first 30 minutes of simmering and not letting it boil seems to help prevent clouding.  The rule is - Skim early and skim often.

Always simmer your stock and do not let it boil.  Not boiling also leads to a richer tasting stock.  Furious bubbling breaks up particles and causes clouding also.  Simmer for approximately 3 hours total.  I also think that simmering the stock too long contributes to making it cloudy.

Refrigerate stock overnight or until all the fat raises to the top.  Then remove the fat.

There is also the old egg white trick (I have never tried it).   Add unbeaten egg whites to the stock and let it simmer slowly, so that the cloudy particles stick to the egg and you can strain it out.

https://whatscookingamerica.net/Poultry/turkeystock.htm

 


Question: 
I basically do the same thing as your turkey soup recipe but my stock always comes out cloudy and congealed after it sits.  This year I used only the wings, drumsticks, and thighs and  an onion.  I’ve strained it and cooled it and skimmed off fat on top. L ast year the same thing happened. It tastes ok but doesn’t look too appetizing after it is stored in the fridge. – Dawn (11/29/98)

Answer: 
I also just finished making my turkey stock.  If I try to hurry the process, that is when I have problems of clouding.

Skimming the scum that comes to the surface during the first 30 minutes of simmering and not letting it boil seems to help prevent clouding.  The rule is: Skim early and skim often. Once your stock starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium low to get it down to a simmer for the rest of the cooking time.  Do not let it reach a rolling boil.  Simmering will lead to a richer tasting stock.  Furious bubbling breaks up particles and causes clouding also.  Simmer for approximately 3 hours total.  I also think that simmering the stock too long contributes to making it cloudy.

Refrigerate stock overnight or until all the fat raises to the top. Then remove the fat.

 

Follow up: 
Thank you for responding so quickly.  Two years in a row I’ve tried making stock and it always becomes cloudy.  I thought I followed the recipe exactly but I guess I didn’t.  I let it come to a rolling boil.  That has to be the reason.  My girlfriend made hers last night while I was there and hers came out clear but she let it simmer for about 2 hours without it ever boiling.

My Nanna told me about the egg white trick (didn’t try it either) and one using an ice cube.  The ice cube helped skimming the fat quickly but didn’t help the cloudiness. Thanks again and Happy Holidays!  – Dawn

 

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Comments and Reviews

13 Responses to “Homemade Turkey Stock Recipe”

  1. Sally Han

    Is it too late to use the refrigerated turkey carcass from thanksgiving to make turkey soup?

    Reply
    • Linda Stradley

      It has been nine days since Thanksgiving. If you froze the bones, it would be ok to make stock with them. If you did not freeze them, please throw the bones away. You should never keep leftovers more than 4 days. Always remember “When in doubt, throw it out.”

      Reply
  2. James

    First you write…
    “Cover pot and slowly bring to a simmer. ” & etc.
    Then you write…
    “The key to a good stock is to bring the water to a boil just once at the beginning… ” & etc.
    And then you write…
    “Always simmer your stock and do not let it boil.” & etc.

    Could you possibly make the recipe instructions any more contradictory and confusing?!

    So, specifically which is it… bring the stock to a boil, or not… bring it a boil at the start, or not at all…?!

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Linda Stradley

      What I am trying to say: The key to a good stock is to bring the water to a boil just once at the beginning and then lower the heat and cook at just barely a simmer for the remainder of the cooking time, as long slow cooking is best to extract all the subtle flavors.

      I have updated the wording in my directions and tips to communicate more clearly. Thanks- Linda Stradley

      Reply
  3. Susan

    how long do you let the bones simmer on the stovetop Is it 4 hrs?
    Mine smells sooo good. I hope the soup tastes just as good. Do I need to add any flavouring?

    Reply
    • Linda Stradley

      I let my stock simmer approx. 3 to 4 hours. You can add any herbs that you desire.

      Reply
  4. Kay Harris

    I made the stock, but can find no information about how much water I use when I go to make the turkey soup?

    Reply
    • Linda Stradley

      As per the recipe: Enough cold water to cover all the ingredients in the pot by at least one (1) inch.

      Reply
    • Sandra

      The stock you made is what you use for your soup….no need to add water to the broth/stock.

      Reply
  5. Valerie Filip

    Helpful information. Fortunate me I found your website by chance, and I am surprised why this accident didn’t happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

    Reply
  6. Terry L

    I cooked the turkey carcass yesterday and I neglected to take the carcass out of the stock when I put it in the refrigerator. This morning I threw away all the ingredients and the bones and plan on making soup with it this evening. Is the stock safe to use since I left the bones in there overnight?

    Reply
  7. Karen L. Calanchini

    I never worry if my stock is clear. I use it for risotto, some soups, or any special dishes for company. Always delicious.

    Reply
  8. Daniel Warren

    Mmm delicious and economical. Too many people throw the carcass away. Think I’ll give the slow cooker method a go this year to really build up that flavour.

    Reply

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