Dinner is finished, your beautiful turkey as been reduced to bones, what now? Throw it away? Not a chance, put it somewhere cool overnight and relax for the evening. I'm sure you deserve it. Enjoy the time with you guests, tomorrow is soon enough to deal with the remains of Christmas dinner. Procrastination rules.
Every time a turkey is cooked in our family, the bones always end up used for making stock. We don't all use the same method. My mother roasts the bones first as do I and the spicing I'm posting is mine. Roasting the bones adds colour to the finished stock and a slightly different flavour as opposed to just boiling it.
Roasted Turkey Stock
Bones from a cooked turkey
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1-2 medium onions, chopped
16 cups cold water
12 black peppercorns
4 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 tomato, caramelized or fresh, optional
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut turkey carcass into quarters. Place the turkey bones, carrot, celery, tomato and onion in a shallow roasting pan. Bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes.
Place bones, trimmings, vegetable mixture, 16 cups of water, and remaining ingredients in a large stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 3 hours; skim surface occasionally.
Strain stock through a sieve, lined with damp cheese cloth, over a large bowl or stock pot; discard bones, etc. Cover and chill. Skim solidified fat from surface; discard.
You don't have to add any of the vegetables or spices to the bones to make the stock. They are all just to enhance the flavour so use what you like.
Add enough water to cover the bones. The 16 cups I use is because I have huge stock pots. The bones are what flavour the stock so just keep them covered to maximise the taste.
If you boil the stock, a rolling boil, for the whole cooking time it will be cloudy. That doesn't bother me but if you are looking for a clear stock keep it simmering.
I always roast the bones when I am making stock because this is where I use all the wing tips I have frozen from making chicken wings but you can just boil the bones skipping the whole roasting stage.
When the stock has cooled, it may have a jelly like consistency. Not to worry, it isn't ruined. You have made gelatin. Natural gelatin is made by boiling skin and bones for a long time so if you added uneaten skin, I always do, your stock may gel. Just add water and reheat, it is fine.
I usually don't make soup so I reduce my strained stock further and freeze it. A little trick, freeze it in ice cube trays and then put the stock cubes in a freezer bag and store. They keep for ever and you have convenient little cubes of fresh stock you can use when ever you need them. Another frugal cook tip.
Most of my stock goes to make more gravy for hot sandwiches or into stew and dumplings, MMMMM dumplings. However you use it, home made stock is always nice to have on hand. Enjoy