Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Brown Turkey Stock

Everybody loves to have chicken soup on those cold winter evenings. For those of us that have made our own stock, we know the quality is far superior to any store bought bullion. For those of us who still dissolve those salty cubes in boiling water, I urge you to try making your own stock. It is surprisingly easy.

What this post is going to explain is how to make a brown turkey stock. It is different than the traditional chicken stock used as broth in chicken noodle.

Brown Turkey Stock is best for soups like Pasta Fajoiloli, Minestrone, & tomato based cream soups. If you like, you can also replace the water in your bread recipe and add sun-dried tomatoes for savory breadsticks for dinner.

First, I will describe the process. Then at the bottom I will include a recipe for about 3 gallons of stock.

Brown Turkey Stock

Bones: The Most Important Part.

During the Christmas season, I host close to one dozen parties; each one has a turkey as the centerpiece of the meal. After every meal, I reserve the carcass and keep in the freezer.

By the beginning of January, I have enough bones to make 8 - 10 gallons.

1) First, you need a strong study knife. Thaw the bones, if frozen. With a meat cleaver, or 10" chef's knife, cut the carcass into 3 - 6 inch pieces. Cut through the bones so the marrow is exposed.

2) Spread on a greased roasting pan. Place in a 425 preheadted oven. Roast until brown, turning every 10 - 15 minutes. The bones will take about 465 minutes - 1 hour.

3) After roasting, put the bones in a stock pot. Next you will need to prepare something that chef's call a "Mirepoix". It consists of 50% onion, 25% carrot, 25% celery. For example: if you use 1 lb onion, you will need a half pound or 8 oz. of each carrot and celery.

4) In the roasting pan, place the mirepoix, and caramelize in the oven. Stir every few minutes, making sure not to burn.

5) Next add about 3 - 6 oz. tomato paste (Depending on the amount of stock). Continue to stir and carmelize in the roasting pan for another 5 - 10 minutes, until hot and fragrant. Add to stock pot with bones.

6) Next, deglaze pan with red wine (If you choose not to cook with red wine, you can use Pomegranate Juice with one teaspoon of wine vinegar). Scrape pan to get all the crust off the bottom of the pan.

7) This next step is really the "secret" to the flavor. In a dry HOT skillet, DO NOT GREASE SKILLET, add two halves of an onion face down. DO NOT PEEL THE ONION, again do not peel the onion. Yes, leave all the crinkly skins on the onion. Over medium heat, burn the onion. YES BURN THE ONION! This will take about an hour to a 1 1/2 hours. In culinary terms we would call this, preparing an "Onion Brulee".

NOTE: This part is great for husbands, because they have permission to burn FOOD!!!

Feel free to do this while the bones are in the oven.

8) Next, Add to the stock pot; a few crushed peppercorns, 2 crushed garlic cloves, parsley stems, and a few sprigs of thyme.

9) Fill with cold water 4 - 6 inches above the bones. Simmer, NEVER BOIL, the bones for 12 - 16 hours, until fragrant and colorful.


Never salt a stock. Only salt it in the final product. Always taste the stock by spooning some out in a small bowl and add a few grains of salt and taste. If it is weak, just simmer for a few more hours; if too strong then add some water.

Stock can be kept in a freezer for 12 months. I make enough stock in January to last an entire year. Again, keep the bones in the freezer until you feel like making this stock.

To make a regular stock, not brown, Don't Brown Anything!!!! Just add the bones, mirepoix and spices, and fill with cold water. Simmer the same time.

Brown stock is more full bodied and is truly a "secret" in any dish.

Once your stock is done, strain out the bones. Cool quickly by submerging the pot in a sink filled with ice and water. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 year.
After cooling in the refrigerator, the fat will harden on the top of the stock. Scrape this off with a spoon before using.

BROWN TURKEY STOCK ~ Approx. 3 Gallons

1 Turkey Carcass
1 Onion Brulee (see step 7)
1 lb Mirepoix (see step 3)
3 oz. Tomato Paste
1 - 2 cups liquid to deglaze pan (see step 6)
1 tsp. peppercorns
3 parsely stems
3 thyme spris
3 1/2 - 4 gallons water (1/2 - 1 gallon will evaporate, depending on the time simmered)

So that's it!!! Brown Turkey Stock. Be sure to check out TIPS if you would like to make a traditional stock.

You can use any type of bones, not just turkey. Beef, chicken, goose, duck, veal or pork. Each will taste different, but still wonderful!


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