What to Do with the Turkey Bones? Make Stock

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What to Do with Turkey Bones? Make Stock

Making a homemade stock is one of the most economical things you can do. Essentially, you’re getting all the flavor you possibly can from something you might otherwise chuck.

Stock is also one of the easiest culinary feats you can pull off. And yet, the resulting turkey or chicken stock adds rich flavor to soups, stews, sauces, and rice dishes. I buy bone-in chicken pieces all year long just so I have the makings of stock. Even if I don’t need it that week, I cool and freeze the stock to use later.

My preferred means of stock-making is to use the slow cooker. I place the leftover bones, drippings, and whatnot from the turkey or chicken in the crock and add onions, carrots, celery, herbs, and bay leaves. Turn that baby on overnight and in the morning you will have a lovely brown stock ready for cooking.

You might also wake up in the middle of the night with the freaky realization that someone is cooking. In the middle of the night! (Yeah, that is kinda weird.)

And your husband might comment that he doesn’t like the scent of chicken soup with his coffee, but he’ll get over it. Someday.

Turkey Stock Recipe | Good Cheap Eats

This recipe is really a non-recipe. You can change it up based on what vegetables and herbs you have on hand. Just know that you may need to add salt to taste. Refrain from comparing this to commercial chicken broth which gets most of its flavor from salt and additives.

Once your stock is cooked, strain it and use in your recipes. You can make a “second press” of stock by adding more water to the solids in the pot and going for another round. This stock won’t be as flavorful as the first batch, but it will still be good. And you’ll be grabbing every last bit of flavor from the ingredients.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Melissa W says

    This may seem kind of skimpY of me, but I hate wasting entire carrots and stalks of celery that I’ll just throw away. Instead, I keep a zip-top bag in the freezer for “soup veggies”. In it, I throw the tops and ends of carrots, celery, onions, garlic, bell peppers, or anything that sounds good. I add a bag or two of those to my crock pot instead. That way I’m getting the flavor from vegetable parts I would have thrown away, too.

    • It’s a great strategy!

    • CeCee says

      I do the exact same thing!!! I also have a bag for Chicken scraps because we mostly purchase bone in skin on Chicken breast. Then when I have enough scraps… Tahhhdahhh. Soup

    • Jenny says

      That is a great idea!

    • Angela says

      Not skimpy at all! Very smart and useful tip that helps cut down on so much food waste! Gonna start doing this! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Brighid says

    So what do you do with the giblets? Inquiring minds want to know… 🙂

      • Brighid says

        Thanks! Your post is bookmarked and ready to go for broth making on Friday. Perhaps it should be called Repurpose Leftovers Friday or OMG There’s Mountains of Food Friday. 🙂

      • TSandy says

        Space in my two freezers are prime real estate. I always buy 3-4 turkeys during Thanksgiving sales and cook those throughout the year. One day the lightbulb went on and I realized that cooked turkey frozen took up a whole lot less space than whole raw turkeys. So the last two years in the days after Thanksgiving are filled with cooking turkeys in my Nesco. Then I make up freezer bags of turkey for various uses. No more jumbo frozen turkeys just taking up valuable freezer space.

  3. Thank you for your chick stock reciepe, I have been making it since I began following your blog. I use it to make to mashed potatoes last year for Thanksgiving and I was requested to make them again this year.

  4. TSandy says

    Jessica I’m in the process now of cooking your turkey stock recipe. I had the remnants of a 22lb turkey and couldn’t even fit all the bones, water, vegies etc in the crockpot. My turkey carcass completely filled a Ziploc gallon size bag squished down. How much turkey carcass do you suggest to put into the crockpot when you make stock?

    • That is a great problem to have! I would do 1/2 or 1/3 and then you can freeze the rest and make stock a different day. 🙂

  5. Lee Hernandez says

    If you want clear broth, here is a nifty trick I use from my Better Homes and Gardens red gingham cookbook. When you are all done with your recipe, you put the broth back into a big pot. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup water, 1 egg white, and one eggshell, crushed. Add this to the stock; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; let stand 5min. Strain again thru a sieve lined with cheesecloth. When I have tried this, the broth was as clear as tea. Strange process, but great results.

  6. Jenny says

    Can’t I just use this for soup tonight if I take the bones out?
    Add some noodles to it and have turkey noodle soup?

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