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:
You know why they are called stock pots? Because people make stock in them!
–Two turkey wings:
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:
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:
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!
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.