Monday, October 24, 2011
Stock (made from a Chicken or Turkey Carcass)
1 turkey or chicken carcass (farm raised, free-range is the best)
Various vegetables (an onion, 2-3 stalks celery, 2-3 carrots, leeks, garlic, parsley, etc.)***
About 2-3 tbsp vinegar
2 - 3 dried bay leaves, if you have it
1 tbsp peppercorns, if you have it
Water to cover, filtered is best
1. Place carcass in a large stock pot with any other ingredients. Fill pot with filtered water until the carcass is covered or mostly covered and add your vinegar. If it's sticking out a little, you'll be able to push it down into the pot after it's cooked a bit. You don't want to add too much water (ratio of 3-4 lbs bones per 4 quarts water).
2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce heat to low and simmer. If the stock is simmered at too high of a heat, the heat will break down the collagen and your stock won't gel. You should not lose much water during this cooking process, so if you start to see that you're losing a lot of water, you have the heat too high.
3. Simmer for 6-24 hours, the longer the better. If scum or foam rises to the top, simply skim it off with a spoon. When done, strain or remove meat and bones with a slotted spoon. Refrigerate and cool until broth forms a gel, then freeze for future use.
***I like to use "trimmings" to fill my stock pot-- simply save carrot tops, celery tops, the green parts of leeks, etc. in the freezer and then when you are ready to make your stock, add these items to your pot with the carcass. You can pick through the meat you've strained away from the broth and use for any recipes requiring cooked meat (like this pot pie recipe from Mrs. Scratch.Love). Save in the refrigerator or use immediately. This meat is also perfect for Turkey and Green Beans, Fajitas, Tortilla Soup, Chicken and Stuffing Bake, and/ or Black Bean Enchilada Cassarole.
When I make a carcass stock, I can't help but think of my grandma who makes a carcass turkey soup after every Thanksgiving. So, I usually reserve at least a portion of my stock, most or all of the meat I've gotten off the carcass, and I add a few vegetables, small quinoa pasta, brown rice, etc. and make a hearty, nutritious soup (try this Turkey Noodle Soup).
Stock is one of the most rewarding things you can make because there is a wonderful satisfaction in using up every bit of the animal and the health benefits of stock are numerous. When picking through the meat, be careful to watch for little bones that you will not want to end up in your soup, or elsewhere.
Here is a great resource for troubleshooting tips from the Healthy Home Economist.
Please visit the following links for additional information about stock.