Once you have gotten a few meals from your Herb Roasted Butterflied Turkey after first enjoying the bird during your Low Stress Turkey Dinner feast, the next step is to make a lovely stock from the bones and scraps, being sure to get as much meat off the bones as you can to hold in reserve for the soup you will, of course, be making.
I had already used the neck, “butt,” heart and gizzard, and backbone for the gravy stock, but there were still plenty of bones to flavor the 10 cups of water I used to cover the bones and veggies in my pressure cooker. No pressure cooker? Get one! 🙂 Well, you won’t regret it if you do. Get a Presto. That way you will always be able to find replacement gaskets. But, ANYWAY, you can also make stock via the stovetop simmer method, but it will be much quicker using a pressure cooker, and the pressure infuses the flavor so you don’t have to cook the stock down (lose volume) to get a hearty stock.
Along with the bones and scraps of meat and skin from my 14.5 pound turkey, I used 10 cups of water, a stalk of celery, two carrots, the 1/4 onion I had in the fridge, 10 or so peppercorns, a bay leave, and two corn cobs. Instead of throwing out corn cobs or full ears that doesn’t get eaten soon enough when it is in season, I freeze them and use one or two cobs in every poultry or veggie stock that I make. Doing so adds a great flavor.
Using this bird and proportions, I got 2 quarts of very tasty stock, half of which I will use for soup, and the rest I poured into two ice cube trays. Once frozen, I’ll remove the cubes of stock from the trays and put in a plastic bag to be used as needed for soups, gravies, or to flavor grains. Next step? The soup, of course, but I think I will use all my leftover mashed potatoes as a top “crust” on a few turkey pot pies… Oh, on more thing. If you can do it, be sure to use a pasture-raised turkey from a local farmer. The flavor and texture is so beyond that of a standard turkey of any type. Do it. You and your family are worth the splurge.
Give Thanks, Laugh Often, and Cook with your Heart, Mind, and Soul.