The base for a flavorful soup, sauce or gravy is in the stock. Around the holidays when gravy is a staple, it’s nice to have some really good turkey stock or broth standing by. Chicken and beef stock are pretty easy to find ready-made but turkey stock is not as common.
In my opinion, turkey gravy and stuffing are the two must important things on the Thanksgiving table. A flavorful rich stock makes these two dishes even better. So before the rush and chaos starts, I make my turkey stock in early November, put it in a few containers and store it in the freezer.
First question. What is the difference between stock and broth? Broth is made with the meat and stock is made with bones as well. What’s the point of the bones? They provide great flavor and collagen which makes for a rich texture. I find the easiest and least expensive way to make turkey broth/stock is to buy some turkey necks and wings. They are inexpensive and have several bones. The method for making a stock and a broth is pretty much the same, so however you prefer to do it, it will work.
Steps to Perfect Stock
There are step-by-step instructions in the recipe below but here’s a little bit of the hows and whys of stock making.
- Start with cold water and just the bones/meat first.
- Bring the water to a simmer and skim off the white foam and brown bits that rise to the top. This will create a nice clear, clean liquid.
- Add the herbs and vegetables once the foam stops forming.
- Keeping the liquid at no higher than a simmer for the entire time will also keep it clear.
- The longer you allow the stock to simmer, the more rich and flavorful it will be. Chicken and poultry stock are wonderful if you start them first thing in the morning and let them simmer all day.
- Finally, strain the liquid and cool it quickly.