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Some Thanksgiving Tips– Turkey Stock, With Photos
cap, captain miss america

kittehkatasked for a stuffing recipe. I did a pretty good breakdown of a bread stuffing last year, and it’s not one that’s cooked inside the turkey. Here is the link to that. I hope it helps.

Today is two weeks before Thanksgiving. You should have your menu pretty well-planned so you can make sure there’s nothing you HAVE to do this far ahead (and that you can do it if there is!). This will also give you enough time to do assignments if you do a family or potluck style Thanksgiving, and enough time to hunt grocery stores for really fancy ingredients if there’s something you need that you’ll have to shop around for, like a more exotic fruit, cheese or spices.

It’s also a good time to make some turkey stock. Turkey stock is a staple you will need in a lot of recipes if you are doing a meat-based Thanksgiving, so making it well ahead of time will really help, because you’ll just be able to dip in whenever a recipe calls for it. It’s great for basting your turkey, using as a base for your gravy, and adding flavor to sauteed and roasted veggies, potatoes, and stuffing.

People often ask what the difference is between stock and broth. The main difference is that stock is made with a higher bone-to-meat ratio than a broth. This means that it will be thicker and the gelatin from the bones will cook out into the liquid.

Here is what I used to make stock:

One really big pot with a strainer. The strainer makes it super easy to fish everything out when you are done:
Stock Pot

You know why they are called stock pots? Because people make stock in them!

–Two turkey wings:

Turkey Wing

This should be about 3-4lbs of meat. Some people like to roast their wings before they put them in the stock pot.

–About 2 lbs of turkey or chicken parts:

gizzards and hearts!

I used hearts and gizzards. But you can use livers and feet as well. If you’re making your stock once you’ve gotten your turkey for Thanksgiving, you can throw the contents of the giblet bag in here, too. Turkey necks are great in stock. No matter where you shop for meat, most local farms, butchers, and even some grocery stores will be able to sell you bags of just chicken parts that most people don’t want.

–12 cups of low sodium chicken broth. Always use low sodium chicken broth to make stock, because then you can salt the food you’re making with the stock however much you want.

–Four small-to-medium onions, quartered. Quarter an onion by cutting it in half, turning it 90 degrees and cutting it in half again:


I always leave the skins on my onions when I make stock, but some people take them off.

–Two to four carrots, peeled and cut into chunks:


–Two to four celery stalks, cut into celery-stick sized pieces:


–One or two leeks, cut into one-inch chunks:


If you don’t use leeks often, you will want to cut off and discard the dark green tops, then rinse the inside of the leeks well before cutting.

–One bunch of parsley, cut in half:


You will want to use the stems as well as the leaves. For many recipes, you would discard the stems, but since the stems are quite flavorful and you’ll be straining this all out, definitely leave the stems.

–Two to four bay leaves:

Bay Leaves

You can get bay leaves fresh sometimes, or most grocery stores will have them dried in the spice aisle. I like Turkish bay leaves, which are a bit larger.

You can also add other herbs and spices you like. Some good things to try are fresh sage, rosemary, or thyme. Whole peppercorns of any color can be nice, as can whole garlic cloves. If you are doing Mediterranean-style cooking, you can try some oregano and red pepper flakes. You can also try different vegetables in your stock. Potatoes, scallions, parsnips and turnips are all veggies I sometimes use in stock.

When everything is in the pot, it should look like this:

Don’t worry if you can’t see the broth at first. Everything will cook down significantly.

Cover the pot and bring the ingredients to a boil. Once it is boiling, set it to medium-low heat, and simmer the heck out of it!

When it is boiling, everything in the pot will cook down, like this:

You will also see glistening drops of fat and gelatin in the broth! These are good things.

Use a wooden spoon to turn over the contents of the pot now and then, so that everything gets stirred up. You will want to cook it for at least two hours, until the meat starts to fall off the wings.

Then, strain it all (if you have a strainer for your stock pot, this is easy, if not, pour your stock through a strainer into a bowl or container). And voila! Stock can be frozen and stored for a very long time.

You can make vegetable stock, too, and the recipe I make here can be very easily turned into a veggie stock recipe by adding more veggies and using water or vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I like to put more root vegetables in my vegetable stock, usually parsnips, turnips, and beets. For people who like to try to get a meaty flavor in their vegetable dishes, some portabella mushrooms can do this nicely!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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This looks so good. :< D and I still don't know what we're going to do for thanksgiving, it's just the two of us this year.

If you want to do a traditional turkey meal, you can usually just buy some nice turkey breasts or legs or wings (whichever is your favorite piece) at a deli or butcher.

I was mentioning to Kat, you can also make stuffing cupcakes, which are kind of awesome.

On the other hand, there are some restaurants that do very nice Thanksgiving spreads.

we usually go to a restaurant... but i miss having real food. especially since i have a real kitchen again! Stuffing cupcakes sound _awesome_.

i don't think i've ever used broth to make stock; must try that next time!

i always end up turning out my water ice cubes and freezing stock in the ice cube trays. easier to handle than containers or ziploc bags, but then again my applications don't generally call for a large amount of stock.

Ooh, ice cubes of stock sound like a good idea for if you're just adding a little while cooking!

For the stuffing- is the taste of celery strong? I'm really not fond of it but I don't remember tasting it in other people's stuffings although it seems like it's included in most of the recipes. (So also, is there a substitute you'd suggest?)

I don't think it's strong, but I like celery, so I'm not the right person to ask. You can ditch the celery and use fennel if you like fennel, or just use more of other veggies.

Celery adds some liquid to the recipe, so you want to use a leafy green or another vegetable with a lot of liquid in it. Kale, collards, escarole, more onion if you like onion, things like that. You can also try fruit if you like sweet stuffing. Pears and apples both hold up well in stuffing.

Thanks! Maybe I'll just use less celery and more onion. I'm also thinking of adding cranberries and apples like in this recipe.

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