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Turkey Stock

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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A common way to lighten the burden of cooking Thanksgiving dinner is to prepare several things in advance — pie crust, cranberry sauce, and turkey stock, for example. Though my mom used to make gravy from the broth of turkey parts she simmered while the big bird was cooking, I get a jump start on the cooking by buying turkey necks and chicken wings (read: cheap) several days before Thanksgiving and making the stock ahead of time. I use this stock to both moisten the stuffing and make the gravy; double the recipe if you want enough stock for soup.


  1. Olive oil
  2. 1 yellow onion or 2 to 3 leeks, roughly chopped
  3. 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  4. 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  5. 3 fat garlic cloves
  6. 2 lb. turkey necks
  7. 1 lb. chicken wings
  8. 10 cups water
  9. 5 stalks Italian parsley
  10. 3 stems fresh thyme
  11. Leek greens (optional)
  12. Salt


  1. Pour enough olive oil into a large pot to cover the bottom. Over medium heat, cook the onions (or leeks) until they begin to soften and brown. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often. Add the turkey and chicken parts, along with the water, herbs, and leek greens (if using).
  2. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours or until the poultry parts have fallen apart.
  3. Pour the liquid through a strainer into another pot, pressing the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Taste the stock; if you like the flavor, season it to taste with salt and let it cool. If the stock tastes weak, however, put it back on the stove and simmer until reduced in volume and concentrated in flavor; season to taste with salt.
  4. If not using the stock immediately, pour it into a few large glass containers. Cool completely, then store in the refrigerator or freezer. Skim the fat from the top when you're ready to use the stock; discard the fat, or use it for frying or to make gravy.


Read more about Thanksgiving menu planning in "Classic Thanksgiving."