You do realize that Thanksgiving is just over two weeks away, right? Will you descend or will you be descended upon? If you’re the descendee, I’m sure your menu has already been created, edited, rewritten and will be many times more before November 24.
My in-laws will be joining us around the table. Bringing the meal together is a collaborative effort between my mother-in-law and me. I make my mom’s recipe for a perfect turkey at Hubby’s request (the bird gets marinated in brandy for three days; who wouldn’t want her bird?) and Mother-In-Law provides the stuffing because bread stuffing isn’t something that was ever eaten at my house. I wouldn’t know a good stuffing from a bad one if it bit me in the behind.
What I do know is that when it comes time to pull the pieces of the Thanksgiving dinner together, there must be stock. The gravy needs it and the stuffing needs it. While there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a jar of home made broth, or even the store-bought stuff, imagine using turkey stock from the same turkey that you’re cooking, even though the bird’s still in the oven and all the juices its creating are still bubbling in the bottom of the roasting pan.
You can, you know.
Remove the gross parts of the turkey from the cavity. Toss out the disgusting liver, then pat the neck and other parts dry. Toss them, butter and a half onion in a sauce pan and cook them for about 20 minutes, getting them nice and browned (See that word ‘browned’? That’s really, really important.).
When ready, add chicken broth to the pan, scraping up all the bits on the bottom (it’s called deglazing). Then add water, carrot, celery, and thyme. Simmer the soon-to-be stock for about an hour and a half.
Finally, strain the stock through a sieve, skim off any fat and, voila!, you have turkey stock.
I was amazed at how rich and beautiful this stock turned out. The deep brown color just screamed of flavor. The recipe made three cups, which was just enough for other recipes in the magazine. What I especially liked about this stock is that the drippings from the turkey are added to the already-made stock, which just adds another amazing layer of flavor. It’s an incredible recipe and one that I’ll keep on hand for all the stock I make.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I may change up the herbs used when I make the stock, but that would depend on what I put in the turkey. As it is, this is a fantastic recipe.
Neck, giblets (excluding liver), and wing tips from a turkey
1/2 medium onion
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
1 carrot, quartered
1 celery rib, quartered
2 thyme sprigs
Pat neck, giblets, and wing tips dry, then cook with onion in butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Add broth, water, carrot, celery, and thyme and bring to a boil, then simmer, skimming any foam, until reduced by half, about 1 1/2 hours. Pour through a sieve into a bowl, reserving giblets (if using for gravy) and discarding remaining solids.