Enjoy your feast, but don’t toss the carcass.
Use it to make stock! Photo courtesy Sur La
Plan ahead: Don’t throw away that turkey carcass. Or the roast chicken* carcass. Or those tops, root ends and stems from trimming vegetables. Save the vegetable trimmings from the week’s meals: carrot tops, celery ends, fennel fronds, herb stems, kale stalks, leek tops, scallion ends, etc.
Check the freezer for herbs and vegetable scraps you may have tucked away.
Use all of it to make a delicious batch of chicken or turkey stock, which you can then turn into cooked grains, sauces, soups, stews and other preparations.
RECIPE: CHICKEN STOCK OR TURKEY STOCK
2 bay leaves
1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
1 large onion, unpeeled, cut in half
Chicken or turkey carcass
Vegetable trimmings† or 1-2 carrots, 3-4 stalks of celery
Parsley and thyme (leftover stems are fine)
*Or duck, game hen, quail or any poultry carcass. You can blend them together into one stock as needed.
†Check the freezer for herbs and anything else you might have tucked away to prevent spoiling.
1. COMBINE all the ingredients in a stock pot (6-8 quarts for a turkey, 4-6 quarts for a chicken) and cover them with water plus one inch. If the carcass doesn’t fit in the pot, use poultry shears to cut it into pieces that do. Don’t salt the water; stock should be unsalted to accommodate any recipe. Place the top on the pot.
2. BRING to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for minimum of 90 minutes, or up to 3 hours. Once or twice during the simmering, remove the cover and skim off the frothy scum that’s formed on the top of the broth. Add more water if it boils away; the bones should always be covered. When the broth has turned a golden brown color and is rich in flavor…
3. REMOVE the pot from the heat. As soon as it’s comfortable enough to handle, strain the broth and discard the solids. If it isn’t clear enough for you, strain it again through cheesecloth.
4. FREEZE the chicken broth in portion-sized containers. We like ice cube trays (once frozen, store the cubes in a freezer bag); or in half pint or pint storage containers. If you have a short-term use for it, you can refrigerate the stock for up to a week.
A stock pot with a pasta strainer insert is ideal for this purpose.
If you don’t want to “watch the pot,” you can use a slow cooker on a low setting.
USES FOR STOCK
Instead Of Water
Grains: rice (plain or in risotto), quinoa, couscous and other dishes
Soups: use as much stock as you have, then fill in with water
Vegetables: steaming and boiling
French sauces, such as bercy and velouté
Purées: use stock to smooth out a bean or vegetable purée
Sautés: add some stock and use less butter or oil
Soups, from wintry butternut squash soup to summer gazpacho
Stuffing, dressing and other savory bread pudding recipes
Instead Of Butter And/Or Cream
Deglazing the pan for sauce
Any recipe that requires wine
Instead Of Wine
Take pride in your homemade stock. Photo courtesy Good Eggs | San Francisco.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STOCK & BROTH
Broth is a finished soup; stock is an ingredient.
Broth has a higher proportion of meat.
Because stock is made largely from the bones, it contains more gelatin, which gives it a richer mouthfeel.
Stock is not salted. Since it is an ingredient, it combines with whatever seasonings the recipes call for.
What about bouillon?
The terms bouillon and broth are used interchangeably, though not correctly.
Bouillon is always served plain (with an optional garnish), whereas broth can be made more substantial with the addition of a grain (barley, rice, etc.) and vegetables.