How to make turkey bone broth

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It is rare that throughout the year a large poultry carcass will appear in your kitchen for use as the base for a big batch of homemade stock. But when it does and the bird is picked nearly clean, consider saving the cooked turkey bones and bits to make a homemade turkey bone broth.

How to make turkey bone broth
Photo by Brian Feulner

Bone broth, or its sisters stock and broth, is one of those kitchen staples that you should always have on hand ― but if you’re like me, often never do. It can used as the base for homemade soups, added in sauces or used to make a creamy risotto dish.

While the grocery store offers a wide variety of stocks, ranging from beef-based to vegetarian options, if you’ve got the supplies and a good stock pot ― making it at home is just as easy, and you can have more control over the flavor of the stock.

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Aside from Thanksgiving presenting you with the turkey carcass itself, you will likely have most of the other ingredients you will need ― whether it’s onions or carrots ― from the stuffing or other side dishes you served on your holiday table.

If after cooking Thanksgiving dinner, you don’t feel like whipping up a steaming pot of stock, the carcass can be put in a ziplock bag and stored in the freezer until you’re ready to use the bones.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension points to a recipe from their colleagues at the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension for a reliable turkey bone broth.

The recipe calls for:

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  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped with stems
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Water

After breaking up the carcass and bones, place them in a large pot and add the remaining ingredients. Cover the contents of the pots with two quarts of water. After bringing everything to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer  ― skimming off any foam or ingredients that come to the top of the liquid.

Once the stock has simmered for two hours, strain the liquid stock from the solid ingredients. Store the stock in jars in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use your homemade goods!

This originally appeared in Bangor Metro, November 2017.

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