When Thanksgiving dinner is cleared away and I’ve enjoyed a second piece of pie (just a sliver), I would much rather simmer a pot of Turkey Carcass Stock and set a batch of Potato Sponge Bread (recipe coming soon!) while It’s a Wonderful Life plays in the background than gear up to battle traffic and crowds for Black Friday shopping. I prefer to use my muslin stock bag to make Turkey Carcass Stock, as it eliminates the need to strain the stock, but if you prefer, you may simply add all ingredients to the stock pot and then strain it afterwards.
1 turkey carcass, skin removed
2 carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped (with skin)
2 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp peppercorns
2 sprigs of lemon thyme or 1/8 tsp dried thyme + a lemon wedge
2 tsp sea salt
4 stems of parsley or 1/4 cup dried parsley
2-3 quarts cold water
Muslin Stock Bag
If the turkey was stuffed, clean out the cavity well. Remove any skin and break down the carcass so it will fit compactly in a Muslin Stock Bag. Add remaining ingredients except water to the stock bag, cinch it closed, and place it in the stock pot pressing down firmly to fit in the bottom of the pan.
Add only enough water to cover the stock bag by 1-inch. Bring to a boil gradually over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer with lid tilted for 2 hours, adding water if necessary to keep stock bag submerged.
Turn the heat off and allow the stock to cool 1 hour in the pan. When it is cool enough to handle, carefully lift the stock bag from the pot into a colander set in a large bowl. The contents of the bag can be fed to chickens (minus bones) or emptied into the compost heap. Since the ingredients were all contained in the muslin bag, there is no need to strain the stock . And since there is no fat or skin involved, there is no need to skim grease off the top.
Use right away to make soup or ladle into freezer containers leaving 1 1/2 inches headspace or wide-mouth Can-or-Freeze jars following the headspace marking indicated on jars. This allow for expansion in the freezer. You may have a kitchen utensil other than a ladle that you can use for scooping the stock that will save you time and drips on the counter. Label containers and freeze at 0 degrees F. Use at your leisure (within 1 year) to make delicious economical homemade soups and happy memories.
*Care of Muslin Stock Bag:
After emptying the stock bag, turn inside out and scrape any loose particles free. Rinse and toss into the washing machine. Wash in warm or hot water with detergent, no fabric softener. Tumble dry low in the dryer or line dry. Fold stock bag away in your dish towel drawer and it will be ready for its next use.
Turkey Carcass Stock