Homemade turkey stock might seem like a pretty boring food topic. Unless you have tasted it, that is. My mother-in-law offered this year's Thanksgiving turkey carcass to me and I squealed with excitement. I was oddly giddy about our poor turkey's torn-apart, disfigured remains. If you ever have the carcass of a turkey on your hands, you absolutely cannot pass up the opportunity to make a delicious batch of homemade stock. It is mouth-wateringly delicious on its own and can also be an incredible base for other soups.
You will need an extra large saucepan, preferably 20-quart size. Break apart and/or cut the turkey carcass into smaller portions so it will fit in the pan. Squish every bit of that carcass in there. Add an onion, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, salt, pepper and 3 to 4 quarts of water. Make sure the carcass is completely covered by liquid.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to Low. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
Using tongs, remove all parts of the carcass from the pan and place on a cutting board to cool.
Now, you have a decision to make. Do you want a thinner stock or a chunkier one? I LOVE thick stocks, but the downside is that you risk bones slipping in. For a thin stock, strain all of the liquid into a bowl that will hold 12 cups (3 quarts). For a chunky stock, ladle the liquid into a bowl, checking each scoop for bones with your fingers. Discard the bay leaves.
Once the carcass has cooled, pull off the meat left on the bones and add it to the stock. This part is optional, again depending on how chunky you want it to be.
Allow the stock to cool in the bowl and pour it into air tight, sealable containers. It can be frozen for up to 6 months or refrigerated for up to 4 days. Use this as a base for your favorite soup and you will have a very happy tummy.
Have a great week!