Every good soup starts with a flavourful stock

This holiday season, turn the Christmas turkey carcass into a tasty golden stock for making soups, sauces and stews. There are a myriad of ways to make stock but a long simmer produces a more flavourful and clearer stock.

Start the roasted bones in cold water. As fat rises to the surface, skim it off every 10 minutes for the first half hour and then every half hour for the next two hours. Chill the completed stock and scrape off the fat that sets on the surface.

An easy way to get a crystal clear stock is to freeze it first. Then de-frost it in a sieve over a bowl in the refrigerator. As it melts, a gelatinous blob is formed that strains all impurities. Discard the blob.

Simmer on the stovetop, in the oven or in a crockpot. A quick stock can be made in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes after full pressure is reached. Allow it to cool naturally.

Stock will keep in the refrigerator up to six days or in the freezer up to six months. Freeze in resealable plastic bags by laying them flat until frozen. Then they can be conveniently stacked in the freezer to save space.

The only safe method to preserve stock by canning is with a pressure canner. At sea level, pints are processed at 10 pounds (5 kg) pressure for 75 minutes and quarts at 10 lb.  (5 kg) pressure for 90 minutes.

At altitudes more than 1,000 feet (305 metres), use 15 lb. (7.5 kg) pressure.
Pressure canning makes rich and flavourful stock. After cooling, check that lids have sealed.
Source: National Presto Industries Inc.

Roasted Turkey Stock

Pull off all the meat and reserve. Place the bones in a roasting pan along with aromatic vegetables. Roasting imparts a more intense and complex flavour. A Mennonite friend suggests adding a cinnamon stick.

leftover turkey carcass
including neck,
wing and leg bones

4     onions, quartered
2 large     carrots, peeled
and cut into chunks
2 large     celery ribs,
cut into chunks
2     bay leaves
1 tsp.     whole black     5 mL
4 sprigs     fresh thyme
1 whole     star anise
6 oz.     tomato paste     200 mL

Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C). Tear turkey carcass into large pieces and arrange in a single layer in a roasting pan.

Fit vegetables around the carcass. If they won’t fit, roast vegetables in the same pan after the bones are done.

Roast until brown and sizzling, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and transfer everything to a stock pot. Be sure to deglaze the roasting pan with a little water and scrape up the brown bits and add to stock pot.

Add thyme, bay leaves, black peppercorns, star anise and tomato paste to stock pot.

Fill with cold water to cover and place over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer.

Simmer for a minimum of five hours or simmer for 12-24 hours. Skim the fat off the top regularly to prevent clouding of the stock.

Cool and strain through a sieve. Discard the solid parts. Refrigerate and use within six days or freeze up to six months.

Turkey Demi-Glace

Velvety textured demi-glace is typically made from veal bones because they contain the most gelatin.

The roasted turkey stock is re-duced until it is thick and then gels with cooling. With a demi-glace, an intense flavour is imparted without excess liquid. If you don’t like celery, it can be omitted.

Continue to simmer prepared turkey stock for about four hours. Skim the fat from time to time. The stock will be reduced to a syrupy thickness. It keeps in the refrigerator for six days or frozen for six months.

Second Day Brodo

Brodo is Italian for broth. This is a long simmered bone broth detoxifying cleanse.

Bone broths are a popular trend and touted to be healthful.

Although there is no definitive research to prove they are a super food, they are hydrating, contain collagen that is a protein that may help with bone, joint and skin health and contain vegetable and herb anti-inflammatories.

The lighter meal after a period of over indulgence brings your digestion back into balance.

Carcass and extra meat from the turkey
8 c.     water     2 L
2 tbsp.     apple cider vinegar  30 mL
1 c.     onion, diced     250 mL
1/2 c.     carrot, rough    125 mL
chopped into 1/2-inch lengths (1.2 cm)
1/2 c.     celery,    125 mL
rough chopped into
1/2-inch lengths (1.2 cm)
1     bay leaf
1 tbsp.     salt     15 mL
1/2 c.     whole garlic     125 mL
1 tbsp.     olive oil     15 mL
fresh ginger
coconut oil

Break the turkey carcass into small pieces and place in a large stock pot with cold water and vinegar.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. During the boiling, a frothy layer will rise to the top. Skim regularly to remove.

Simmer six hours over gentle heat. If the level of the water drops below the bones during simmering, add water to bring the level back up.

After six hours, add the remaining ingredients and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

Strain through a fine strainer to discard all solids. Return the liquid to the stove.

Bring to a moderate boil and cook until the volume has been reduced to four cups (1 L). This step will intensify the flavours of the broth.

Then heat oven to 325 F (160 C). Toss garlic in oil and salt and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast in oven for 20 minutes until the garlic cloves are lightly browned and softened.

Finish the dish by cutting the peeled, fresh ginger into matchsticks. Use about 12 per serving.

Add about one teaspoon (5 mL) coconut oil and three cloves of roasted garlic per serving. Place the ginger, coconut oil and garlic in the bottom of a soup bowl and pour in six ounces (200 mL) of the hot brodo.

Let the ginger and garlic steep for two minutes and serve.
Source: Chef Zeb Stevenson.

About the author


Stories from our other publications