Use the Leftover Turkey Carcass to Make Turkey Stock
[Note: prices updated 11-22-18]
Now that you've had a wonderful turkey dinner with friends and family, you may be wondering what to do with the leftover turkey.
Make turkey broth! And more....
After cutting off as much of the meat as possible, simmer the carcass in a large stock pot of water for 2-3 hours until most of the meat has fallen from the bones.
You can now strain off the broth and put it in 1 - 4 cup freezer safe containers. The recipes you like to use will determine the size of the containers. If you are not sure, the best option is to freeze in smaller containers. You can always use four one-cup portions, but it is difficult to thaw and use just one cup of broth from a 4 cup frozen container.
If you prefer, before you load the broth into freezer containers, you can refrigerate the broth overnight and then skim off the hardened fat and make your own fat-free or low-fat turkey broth.
Our 19 pound turkey made 6 quarts of delicious broth. I poured this into Ziploc freezer bags and froze them flat on a cookie sheet. Today, I'll take them off the cookie sheet and stack them on the freezer shelf. I'm looking forward to some turkey soup and turkey and noodles this winter.
After the broth is strained off, there will be lots and lots of chunks and bits of meat. It will be an assortment of yucky looking and tender, tempting looking meat. Pick though this and sort out the cooking-worthy chunks and bits. They will be perfect for turkey soup, casseroles, or turkey and egg noodles. I got about 2 cups of this type of meat.
If you have pets, and you did not put too much seasoning on the turkey, you can take the rest and carefully pick out the rest of the skin and "yucky" meat, being very, very careful not to get any bones. This can now be chopped into fine pieces or whirred in the food processor and used as a protein- (and fat-, if you are using the skin) rich treat to be served a bit at a time. We mix a spoonful or so into the dry food for the dog and the outdoor cats. The indoor cats will sniff and taste this, but don't eat much of it, so they usually only get a little taste. Porsche, our dog, goes crazy for it. But then again, she goes crazy over anything food related. She even ate a bacon grease soaked paper towel once. But that is another story.
The 3 - 4 hours of heating on a gas stove will cost about $.35. If you make 6 quarts of broth, this will cost about $.06 per quart and will be preservative free, as well as very fresh. As a comparison, store bought broth (chicken broth) will cost about $1.90 to $2.50 per quart. (reference Swanson Chicken Natural Goodness - $2.40 for 32 ounces on walmart.com when purchased in a 4 pack). You will also get, if you choose, another 1-3 cups of delicious turkey meat and another 3 or so cups of pet food meat and skin. This is another few dollars in savings as well.
Enjoy your delicious broth and smile at your resourcefulness!
For more ideas and resources for recipes, check out our blog post .. What To Do With That Turkey Carcass
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and tiverylucky.
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