Thanksgiving is over, and you’re left with a heap of turkey leftovers. Before you toss them in the trash or succumb to turkey sandwich fatigue, consider turning those scraps into liquid gold – Turkey Broth!
I hope you saved those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers because today, we’re going to make the absolute MOST of them. This is a little tradition of mine, one that I actually follow on Thanksgiving night itself. I begin making the turkey stock as soon as all the meat is carved off the turkey.
I peel, prep and cut the veggies earlier in the day – that way everything is ready to go as soon as the turkey is done being carved.
Homemade Turkey Broth
In the culinary world, stocks are the staple to making any dish. Nothing goes to waste in a commercial kitchen and with good reason. Throwing the scraps away is literally throwing flavor (and money) down the drain. The cost of an average box of stock is $4.00 and it’s nothing more than flavored (probably unfiltered) water.
We can do better – MUCH better!
What’s The Difference Between Bone Broth, Stock, and Broth?
1. Turkey Broth:
- Ingredients: Turkey broth is made by simmering turkey meat (usually without bones) and vegetables in water. It may contain seasonings as well.
- Preparation: It is typically simmered for a shorter period, around 1-2 hours. It tends to be lighter in both flavor and texture compared to stock.
- Use: Turkey broth is versatile and can be used as a base for soups, sauces, and as a cooking liquid for rice or grains. It provides a milder turkey flavor.
2. Turkey Stock:
- Ingredients: Turkey stock is made primarily from simmering turkey bones (such as the carcass), along with aromatic vegetables (like carrots, celery, and onions) and seasonings.
- Preparation: It involves a long, slow simmering process, typically 2-6 hours or more, which extracts collagen and gelatin from the bones.
- Use: Turkey stock is known for its rich, concentrated flavor and is often used as a base for soups, stews, gravies, and sauces. It provides a deep turkey essence to dishes.
3. Turkey Bone Broth:
- Ingredients: Turkey bone broth is a more specialized version of turkey stock. It’s made by simmering turkey bones, often with added vegetables and seasonings.
- Preparation: Bone broth undergoes a very long simmering process, typically 12 hours or even more. This extended cooking time extracts not only collagen and gelatin but also minerals and nutrients from the bones.
- Use: Turkey bone broth is prized for its health benefits due to its nutrient-rich content. It can be sipped on its own, used as a base for soups, or incorporated into various recipes to enhance both flavor and nutrition.
HOW TO MAKE TURKEY BONE BROTH
1. Prepare the Turkey Carcass:
- Begin by removing as much meat as you can from the turkey bones.
2. Load Up the Slow Cooker:
- Place the turkey carcass into your slow cooker.
- Add the chopped carrots, celery, onions, peppercorns, herbs, etc. on top of the turkey.
3. Season and Cover with Water:
- Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Start with a pinch and adjust later if needed.
- Pour enough water into the slow cooker to completely cover the turkey carcass and vegetables.
4. Slow-Cook to Perfection:
- Set your slow cooker to the low heat setting and cover it with the lid.
- Let the ingredients simmer away for 12+ hours. This low and slow cooking method ensures that all the rich flavors meld together.
5. Strain and Store:
- Once your turkey stock is ready, turn off the slow cooker.
- Carefully strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a large bowl or pot.
- Discard the solids.
6. Store Your Liquid Gold:
- Allow the turkey stock to cool to room temperature.
- Pour it into airtight containers or freezer-safe bags.
- Label and date the containers and store them in the fridge for up to a week or freeze them for several months.
If you look closely at the photo below you will see a film (or gelatin) covering the broth. This is what we are going for! The gelatin is what makes the difference between a broth you buy at the store and homemade BONE BROTH.
What to Make with Turkey Broth
- You can interchangeably use turkey broth with chicken broth. I use it in soups that already have a chicken or beef flavor, like Chicken Pot Pie Soup.
- It also adds tremendous flavor to risottos like our Mushroom Risotto.
- And just think what it could do for homemade Enchilada Sauce!
Can you cook turkey stock too long?
- Yes. Simmer the bones and/or meat first to allow the impurities to come out, and then add the vegetables toward the middle/end of the cooking time. Overcooking the vegetables in the broth will cause them to break down and turn bitter.
Which bones have the most collagen?
- Beef bones produce the most collage due to their density. However, ALL bones have collagen in them.
Why is Collagen so important to health?
- Collagen accounts for 30% of your body’s protein. It provides support to your skin, muscles, bones and connective tissue.
How do I store Turkey Broth?
- Refrigerate in mason jars for and use within a few days.
- To freeze: wait until the broth has come to room temperature or refrigerate until cooled. Place in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before use.
To help make this bone broth easy, prep your aromatics the day before and place them in a Ziploc bag in the fridge. Once you’ve stripped and cleaned the turkey, just add the pre-cut veggies and water to your slow cooker!
HOW TO MAKE TURKEY BROTH
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Don’t throw away those turkey leftovers ! With just a few hours and some aromatics they will be turned into a nourishing liquid gold!
- 1 Cooked Turkey Carcass, meat removed
- 1–2 Onions, quartered
- 2 Stalks Celery, chopped including leafy parts
- 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 Cloves Whole Garlic
- 10–12 Whole Black Peppercorns
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Few sprigs of fresh parsley or thyme
- Remove all skin and most of the meat from the bones/carcass of the turkey. Place it in the slow cooker and fill with enough water to cover the bones by 2″.
- Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6-18 hours adding more water if necessary, stirring occasionally to break it down.
- Strain the broth in a large bowl with a colander or fine strainer. You may need to strain it twice.
- If not using immediately, the broth may be frozen for several months.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 12+ hrs
- Category: Soups
- Calories: 55 calories
- Sodium: variable
- Fat: 3 gr.
- Carbohydrates: 3 gr
- Protein: 5 gr
- Cholesterol: 15 mg