Talking Turkey (Stock)

Like many of you out there, I’m a huge fan of savoring the Thanksgiving Turkey leftovers days after the big feast.  I actually look forward to enjoying a fresh turkey sandwich for lunch over the following week more than feasting on the bird during the Thanksgiving meal.  It’s hard to beat a roast turkey sandwich BLT on thick country bread with a dab of homemade herb mayonnaise.

Every Thanksgiving, while family and friends are enjoying coffee and tucking into that second slice of pumpkin pie, I’m already back in the kitchen carefully slicing up the surplus fowl and packing the meat into containers for use later in my sandwich creations.  One problem remained in my preparations.  No matter how meticulous I was with my carving knife, there were always bits of deliciousness left on the bone

I used to feed the carcass to the family pet but unfortunately it’s been years since I had dog, so typically the turkey bones went into the trash.  A couple of years ago, in my quest to get the most out of a holiday Tom, I stumbled across a recipe for making Turkey Stock.

Here’s a terrific recipe, courtesy of Emeril Lagasse and the Food Network:


1 left-over turkey carcass

2 medium onions, chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 tablespoon black peppercorns


1 gallon of water to cover


Using a sharp knife, cut the carcass into smaller pieces. In a large pot, add the carcass, vegetables, bay leaves, thyme, and peppercorns. Season with salt. Cover with water. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 2 hours. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Remove from the heat and strain.  Measure stock into freezer safe containers, refrigerate, skim solid fat from surface, and freeze.

You can substitute turkey stock in recipes calling for chicken stock.  It’s great for soups and stews but I often save it for Risotto (which pairs well with Nebbiolo-based red wines like Barolo or Barbaresco).  I’ll also use the stock in a Valencia-styled Paella de Carne (a great match with Fino Sherry or a dry Amontillado).

Jim Greeley, Wine Supervisor, SW Florida

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