Turkey Stock from the carcass

The big dinner is done, and this prehistoric dinosaur skeleton is waiting in the refrigerator. Just ready to pounce on the unsuspecting midnight snacker.

Perhaps the best thing to do is “Make Stock of the situation.” The roasted bones and attached bits of flesh are free food waiting to happen. A good stock is the “backbone” of many good soups, stews, gravies, and many other forms of luscious dishes.

It takes almost no work; the hard part is breaking down the ribs, and a decent cleaver or primal knife will make very short work of this. Past that, a few aromatics, some water, or that partly used container of broth, and the primary components are heat and time.

From Wikipedia:

Stock, sometimes called bone broth, is a savory cooking liquid that forms the basis of many dishes – particularly soups, stews, and sauces. Making stock involves simmering animal bones, meat, seafood, or vegetables in water or wine, often for an extended period. Mirepoix or other aromatics may be added for more flavor.

Traditionally, stock is made by simmering various ingredients in water. A newer approach is to use a pressure cooker. The ingredients may include some or all of the following:

Bones: Beef and chicken bones are most commonly used; fish is also common. The flavor of the stock comes from the bone marrow, cartilage and other connective tissue. Connective tissue contains collagen, which is converted into gelatin that thickens the liquid. Stock made from bones needs to be simmered for long periods; pressure cooking methods shorten the time necessary to extract the flavor from the bones.

Meat: Cooked meat still attached to bones is also used as an ingredient, especially with chicken stock. Meat cuts with a large amount of connective tissue, such as shoulder cuts, are also used.

Mirepoix: Mirepoix is a combination of onions, carrots, celery, and sometimes other vegetables added to flavor the stock. Sometimes, the less desirable parts of the vegetables that may not otherwise be eaten (such as carrot skins and celery cores and leaves) are used, as the solids are removed from stock.

Herbs and spices: The herbs and spices used depend on availability and local traditions. In classical cuisine, the use of a bouquet garni (or bag of herbs) consisting of parsley, bay leaves, a sprig of thyme, and possibly other herbs, is common. This is often placed in a sachet to make it easier to remove once the stock is cooked.

Whilst Wikipedia does not specifically call out turkey, trust me, it works. I also tend not to use a pressure cooker, as the low and slow simmer extracts more of the collagen and way more flavor as the stock reduces and concentrates said flavor.

Turkey Stock

One does not simply throw a turkey carcass away
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Course Ingredient
Cuisine American, Global
Servings 2 Quarts
Calories 68 kcal


  • 1 Stock Pot Large


  • 1 ea Turkey Carcass Picked and broken
  • Neck and Giblets Optional, See Notes
  • 2 Large Onions Peeled, quartered
  • 4 ribs Celery Stalk Chopped
  • 4 ea Carrots Washed, peeled, chopped
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper Corns Lightly cracked, or whole
  • 2-4 Sprigs Thyme Optional
  • 1 Gallon Water


  • Place all in the stockpot
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat
  • Reduce heat to maintain a simmer
  • Simmer until reduced by half, 3-4 hours
  • Whence reduced, use a wire strainer/tongs to remove large solids
  • Strain using a fine mesh strainer into a heat-proof bowl
  • Optionally, one can strain again using a coffee filter in the mesh strainer
  • Cover and cool, for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. We want warm not boiling hot.
  • Divide the stock between several small jars or storage containers.
  • Cover and refrigerate for up to one week, freeze for up to 3 months


If you are using the giblets, do not use the liver, it will turn bitter during the simmer.
One can add additional herbs, sage, etc.  Again some may turn bitter during the low slow cooking.
I have purchased turkey wings for the specific use of adding to my after turkey day dinner stock.


Calories: 68kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 2gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 105mgPotassium: 267mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 406IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 107mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Stock, Turkey
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

  Filed under: Autumn, Follow On, Ingredient, Process, Slow Cook, Soup, Winter

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