Herbed Turkey Stock is the perfect base for your Thanksgiving turkey gravy and those slippery dumplings, should you desire an Eastern Shore flare to this holiday! This can be made up to 3 days ahead of time, which gives you one less item to worry about on that hectic feast day schedule you have created. Heck, go ahead and make the Best Turkey Gravy (another post), if you want to, so all you need to do is warm it up before serving. No one will ever know!
It all begins with roasting the turkey wings and necks at 450 degrees for about an hour. Turn them over halfway through the cooking time. I happened to use the convection setting on my oven for this because the circulating air in the oven creates a perfectly golden crust. I used the rack to place the pieces on so those luscious brown drippings could have their own place.
After the cooking time, remove the wings and place them in a large stock pot or Dutch Oven. Tilt the roasting pan to allow fat to drain down to one side. Pour it out and reserve for use in the gravy. I store this in the refrigerator until it’s ready to use.. I call it liquid gold!
Empty 4 cups of boiling water into the pan. This helps the brown bits release from the pan so the can be used to flavor and color the stock. Pour all of this into the stockpot with the turkey pieces.
Add an additional 8 cups of water along with all the veggies and herbs. Bring this to a boil then reduce to simmer. For approximately 3-4 hours or until reduced by about a third. Look at that amazing golden brown color!
Remove turkey parts and place aside. Strain the stock into a large measuring cup/bowl. Discard all veggies and herbs. Reserve any turkey meat, if desired, for stuffing, or just taste-testing until the big bird is cooked. Strain once more using a fine mesh strainer.If it measures more than 8 cups, return to a clean pot to boil down a bit more. Otherwise, allow it to cool a bit and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. If not using it within 3 days, it may be frozen for up to 3 months.
Serves: 8 cups
- 4 pounds of turkey wings and necks
- 4 celery ribs, leaves included, cut into chunks
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 large carrot, peeled, sliced lengthwise, then cut into chunks
- 2-4 rosemary sprigs
- 4 sage leaves
- 4-6 stems of parsley
- 4 stems of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ t. peppercorns
- 4 c. boiling water
- 8 c. additional water
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. I used the convection setting.
- Place turkey wings and necks on rack in large roasting pan.
- Cook for 30 minutes, turn over and cook an additional 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let any additional drippings fall into roasting pan.
- Put turkey pieces into a large stock pot or Dutch Oven.
- Drain off fat and reserve(refrigerate) for use in gravy. I had about ¼ cup.
- Pour 4 cups of boiling water into roasting pan. Browned bits will easily release when scraped. Then, pour it over turkey pieces in stock pot.
- Add an additional 8-10 cups of water to the pot.
- Place the veggies and herbs to the pot.
- Bring it to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
- Reduce stock by a third, about 8 cups. This should take around 3-4 hours.
- Remove necks and wings. Take out large remnants of veggies.
- Strain into a large measuring bowl; discard veggies and herbs. Pour into a different saucepan.
- Continue to cook until reduced to 8 cups, if needed.
- Use within 3 days of freeze for up to 3 months.