Traditional cultures across the globe rely strongly on bone broth for its importance to health, nutrition, immune support and for its delicious, savory flavor. In this recipe we will walk you through the steps to making a full bodied, nourishing Turkey Bone Broth with those Thanksgiving leftovers.
I really hope you saved the leftovers to your Thanksgiving turkey because we are making the best use of them today. This is something I actually do ON Thanksgiving night after we eat simply because it’s much easier to shred the turkey carcass and put it in a slow cooker, than wrap it all up and find room in the fridge. Yes?
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!
Bone broth sounds like a bizarre concoction, but this warming tonic has been used for centuries. This nourishing turkey bone broth recipe is made in a slow cooker and requires NO BABYSITTING!
The Difference Between Bone Broth, Stock, and Broth
Broth is a thin liquid made by simmering meat and bones on the stove top in water with vegetables for a short amount of time, under 2 hours. It is typically seasoned and usually what is found in stores.
Stock is made by slowly simmering bones in water with some veggies for a few hours longer than a broth. However, it is usually not seasoned and it is not simmered long enough for a gelatin to form.
Bone broth is also simmered with vegetables but for much longer time, usually over 12 hours. This longer cooking time results in a much deeper color and flavor as well as enough time for a gelatin to form.
HOW TO MAKE TURKEY BONE BROTH
- Take as much meat off the bones as you can, including the skin. Place it in the crockpot along with some aromatics. We chose big chunks of carrots, onion, celery, some whole garlic, and peppercorns. If you have a bay leaf, add that as well.
- Add enough water to fill it almost to the top. This will depend on how big your turkey was. Ideally, the bones should be covered by an 1″ or so of water.
- Turn the crockpot on low and let it do its magic. I typically let my crockpot do the work overnight while I am sleeping, giving the broth a cook time of at least 16 hours. If you are not comfortable with the crockpot being on all night, there is usually a timer you can set.
- Strain the broth into a large bowl.
- If you don’t use the broth immediately, you can freeze it in 1, 2, 3 or 4 cup increments for future recipes.
Once you’ve made turkey bone broth at home, you’ll have the flexibility to customize it. If your turkey has been brined (heavily salted) you may not want to add any additional salt to the stock.
Our broth was very flavorful from herbed butter we put on and under the skin prior to cooking and already had plenty of salt, so I do NOT recommend adding salt when making homemade broths. However, adding fresh herbs will add a lovely flavor.
Look closely at the phono below. There should be 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
- Turkey broth can be used interchangeably 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. The bones and/or meat should be simmered first allowing the impurities to come out first, then the vegetables are added towards the middle/end of cooking time. If vegetables are cooked too long in the broth they begin to break down and become 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. After the turkey has been stripped and cleaned, simply add the precut veggies and water to your slow cooker!Print
Slow Cooker Turkey Bone Broth
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.
FOR BROTH – FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS ABOVE EXCEPT COOK ON STOVETOP FOR 2-4 HOURS. THE ADDITION OF SALT IS DEPENDENT UPON HOW MUCH SALT WAS USED IN THE COOKING PROCESS.
FOR STOCK – FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS ABOVE, COOKING AGAIN ON THE STOVETOP FOR 6-8 HOURS.
Yummy! First time I made broth in the crock pot! Success!
Just came across this on Pinterest. I will be making this next week.
Thanks for the recipe! I’m confused on step one. Do we put the meat and skin in the crockpot too, or just the bones?
Hi Kristin – If the skin is left on you will end up with a cloudy, kind of slimy stock. I remove all the skin and rinse the bones to get rid of any impurities before simmering. I hope that helps.
Hi, Thank you for sharing your recipes out here. I came across your blog as I was looking for vegetarian recipes that are made from unprocessed ingredients. I am tempted to try few of them.
I was wondering how is Turkey vegetarian? 😀
That is awesome!!! 😀 😀 That recipe obviously got flagged in the wrong category. Good catch Bonita!
Bone broth is the best thing for you