After Thanksgiving and the turkey sandwiches and Alton Brown turkey hash, there’s still one more thing to be done with the turkey–make some broth with it.
Turkey broth is a great thing to have in your freezer. You can use it in any recipe that calls for chicken broth and in lots of meals that need a little extra flavor. It makes wonderful soups, risottos, pastas, sauces, and so on.
The other thing about turkey broth is that, as with vegetable broth, it can be made from the waste you create while cooking Thanksgiving dinner. That means that the ends of onions, celery, parsley, carrots, and any other herbs you would normally throw away–plus the turkey carcass itself, of course–can be salvaged and put to use making a nutritious broth. With the exception of a few pennies spent on salt and fresh herb or two, turkey broth is essentially free to make, which makes it uber frugal.
How to Make Turkey Broth:
- Turkey Carcass
Any of the following:
- Ends of onions
The stems of herbs
The tiny slivers from the center of garlic
The tops of celery
1 bay leaf
1/8-1/4 c salt
2 Tbs black pepper
As you make Thanksgiving dinner, save the ends of vegetables. You will be surprised with how much you come up with. I stick them in a freezer bag and freeze it until I’m ready to make the broth.
After you have eaten all the turkey, use the carcass to make broth. I scrape the excess stuffing from the center of the carcass, since it is no use to the broth. Then I get the biggest soup pot I own. I break the bones so that the carcass will fit and put it in the pot. Then I get out the frozen ends of vegetables and dump them in the pot as well.* Finally, I add the bay leaf, pepper, and about 1/8 c of salt.
I take the pot to the sink and fill it with water until it is covering the turkey bones. Then I put it on the stove on high and let it come to a boil. Next I lower the heat to about medium and let the broth simmer for about an hour or two. Periodically, I’ll come by with a slotted spoon and skim the pot of any white stuff or remaining stuffing. This keeps the broth from getting cloudy.
After that, I taste the broth. I look at the color–is it golden brown? Does it need more salt? Does it taste like broth is supposed to taste? If all looks well, the broth is done. Refrigerate overnight and then divvy into freezer-safe containers
* Usually, the vegetables I cut up making dinner is enough for broth. If not, I would add another onion or celery stalk to the mix.
Cost of Dish: Turkey carcass: free; Vegetable ends: free; Water: free; Salt and pepper: so cheap, hardly worth mentioning; Bay leaf: free for me because I get them from a friend’s bay tree.
Total Cost: Free! (Well, close enough.)
Talk about making something from nothing.