Making Turkey Stock for Perfect Gravy

November 23, 2011

The key to great gravy is homemade turkey stock.  Sure the canned stuff works fine in a pinch but if you have the time, homemade really does have a superior flavor.  This recipe uses a turkey carcass but I suggest using about three pounds turkey wings and necks if you can find them.  After Thanksgiving dinner, use the leftover stock and meat to make turkey noodle soup or turkey and dumplings. 

Turkey Stock


1 turkey carcass
1 large onion, halved with the skin on
one clove of garlic, skin on
2 carrots, unpeeled and roughly chopped
one stalk of celery, roughly chopped and with the leaves
one sprig of fresh thyme,
one pinch kosher salt, or to taste
Remove the bulk of the meat from the carcass and set aside - though some remaining meat left on is great as it will get nice and roasted.
Place in a 400-450 degree F oven for about an hour. The bones will get nice and browned and any skin will get crispy.
After roasting, cut the carcass into large chunks (e.g. quarters) and place the carcass in an 8 quart stockpot with enough water to cover.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a steady simmer.
Skim off the foam that forms on the top. Once the foam turns white you no longer need to skim.
Toss in the remaining ingredients
Partially cover and reduce heat until it is barely simmering. Simmer for 3-4 hours, adding more water if necessary to keep the bones just covered. Take care to not over dilute your stock too much.
Strain stock into a large container and freeze or start making your delicious turkey soup

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