The holidays are a great time to learn how to make turkey stock. All of the large meals and gatherings usually result in many leftovers. In this post, we offer some tips on how to make the most of your turkey and holiday food prep that will help you reduce waste and stress! The resulting stock can be pressure canned for your pantry, frozen or used right away for a soup, stew, or another recipe.
Before you begin meal prep, try to carve out some space in your freezer where you can store your bulky but basic ingredients for your Turkey stock – the turkey carcass and vegetable scraps – until you have the time to make your stock. This way, you’ll be more likely to take the time to keep them when you’re actually doing meal prep and when you’re done carving the turkey. If you don’t already squirrel away vegetable scraps for stock, this is a great time to start. It’s also a great reason to collect them all year round. I keep them during the summer months, along with scraps from all of our chicken bbq meals to cook off during a rainy spell or early fall. I make a big batch of chicken corn soup and keep the remaining broth for use later. You can follow this process for chicken broth as well.
Here’s what you can be tossing into a container in the freezer to add depth and richness of flavor and nutrients to your turkey stock:
Please note…do not put actively rotting things into this collection…but it is a good way to save items that you suddenly realize you’re not going to be using in time and are in danger of going bad. Obviously, this is not a list of “must adds”, but a list of “may adds”. Some of these items may never be found in your kitchen, and that’s okay!
The Turkey…when you roast it, you’ll want to carve and remove as much meat as possible while it’s warm. However, if you simply don’t have time, you can toss it into the freezer and deal with it later. Be sure to save all of the juices from the roasting. You can make gravy with some of it, but be sure to put the rest of those juices into the freezer to add to your stockpot.
When you know you have time to allow a large pot to simmer on the stove for a while, or in a crockpot while you’re at work, pull the turkey carcass and veggies out of the freezer.
Freeze it – Jar it…and freeze (get tips on freezing in jars )
Pressure Can it – so that it’s shelf-stable. See jars recommended for pressure canning.
Reheat broth to boiling and fill jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process following the recommendations in Table 1 or Table 2 according to the type of pressure canner used.