I LOVE Dog the Bountyhunter!
EDIT 21Feb2012: Sparkbuddy Cindy mentioned that she uses chicken. Of course you can use any bones! Fish, chicken, beef, pork, etc. You can make veggie broth but it will NOT require a 6-8 hour reduction! Also: using a pressure cooker takes a fraction of the time. Our pressure cooker isn’t big enough but we use it for hambone, oxtail, neckbone, etc. It’s theAwesome, whatever you use… No bones about it! (terrible pun, it’s all about the bones!)
Every Thanksgiving (US), I’m as excited as a kid waiting for Santa Claus but what I’m waiting for is that turkey carcass!
One of my jokes (perhaps not funny) is “I’m a carcass-picker from way back.”
I stood like a puppy at my father’s side every time we had turkey. He’d carve and when a bit broke off, I opened my mouth and he dropped it in! When I got older (“taller”), I’d reach over when he was transferring a slice to the platter and pick a bit of meat off the carcass (those bits you can’t cut off). I’m still a scavenger at heart!
If you’re “done” with that carcass, Mr. President, I’m ready to pick it!
- turkey carcass (the bones, connective tissue, some skin and what meat is too tedious to pull off when carving is done)
- salt, freshly-ground pepper, Hungarian paprika
- 1/4 C lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice or vinegar (optional, makes for interesting flavor and helps extract minerals from the bones–I prefer lemon or lime)
Get a large pot. It has to be big enough to accommodate the turkey and cover with water. I like a heavy pot, as well. You can cut up/ crush the bones to make them fit. Since I always have ancient pots and what-noughts around the ranch, I have access to doing things the way they’ve been done “forever.” Nothing fancy, mind you (“forever” being a relative term; I’m 2nd generation American and I do as I was taught by Dad who does as he was taught–simple!). I like to make stock on a cold day. If you have space but no time to do this process, you can freeze the carcass and later make stock!
Liquid Gold, I say! (from Tilapia Turkey Soup)
Cover the carcass with water. Simmer and occasionally stir (to keep the bottom from sticking) for several hours. Reduce — the more the better. You will have liquid gold if you reduce by half!
I add salt, Hungarian paprika, freshly-ground black pepper and possibly whatever else “I’m feeling.” I keep it basic which leaves the stock to be malleable for different purposes. Wait to add spices after it has reduced, then continue cooking for a while longer to marry the broth (adding salt too soon, for example, will result in stock that is too salty–but experiment!).
Remove from heat and (especially if you’re doing this on a cold, November or December day) sit outside to quickly cool, if safe. The fat will congeal on the surface.
Defat (skim off and discard). Pour cooled stock through a sieve or cheesecloth, if you have it, into appropriately-sized containers. I like to make them large enough to freeze to make pots of soup later.