Turkey bone broth made from the leftover turkey carcass or other bones. This healthy and easy broth makes the basis for countless soups, sauces, and gravies.
We really eat a lot of turkeys because we are able to buy the birds from farmers in the village. But what to do with the bones, it would be a shame to throw them all away?
The simplest answer is to make stock or, even better, turkey bone broth.
What is bone broth?
The liquid obtained by slowly simmering the bones, bits of meat, and connective tissues of animals for an extended period of time. It can be made from turkey bones, chicken, beef, pork, lamb, or game. I often use the bones of our Christmas duck or geese.
Broth versus stock
Broths are made by boiling pieces of meat for a rather short time.
Stocks are made by simmering the bones for a bit longer, usually for about 3-4 hours. I prefer making stocks as they are more flavorful and allow me to use the bones that I would not use for any other purpose anyway.
Bone broth is made by cooking bones that still have bits of meat attached to them in water for a really long time, about 24 hours. The long cooking time extracts lots of nutrients from the bones. More collagen and amino nutrients are released into the liquid.
Tips for making turkey bone broth
- I use turkey bones. They are either already roasted after making roasted turkey legs, for instance, or fresh. When it comes to the fresh parts, I use the neck, wings, and backbone.
- You can buy these parts at the butchers and make sure to include some parts like knuckles, feet, or wings, these are the parts that contain more cartilage, which contains a lot of collagen.
- You can also make it using the carcass of a Thanksgiving or Christmas bird, never throw that away. As mentioned above, I always use the Christmas goose or duck carcass.
- When using fresh bones it is recommendable to roast them first. Place the wings/neck/backbones on a baking tray and roast them in the oven for about 1 hour.
- Once they are roasted, transfer them to a very large pot, add some vegetables and spices, bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 24 hours.
- The result is a very rich, dark jelly, incredibly deep tasting and delicious. The jelly will become liquid again when reheated.
- The vegetables and spices are rather optional, but I always use them. If you want a pure liquid, leave them out, adding only salt and pepper.
Why is the broth cloudy?
Any kind of stock can turn cloudy. That is usually the result of boiling the stock instead of simmering it.
The secret is to never let it come to a boil, as that will cause the proteins to break into small particles, which will make the stock cloudy. You should also never stir it either.
However, apart from it being not as pretty anymore, the cloudy broth is just as delicious as the clear one, so don’t worry about it, if you (like me) sometimes forget to turn the heat down to very low before it starts to boil.
How to store?
- Sieve through a large sieve to remove the bones, vegetables, and spices and through a finer sieve to remove the small impurities.
- Pour the liquid into large jars with lids or other containers. Let cool on the counter.
- Once cool, turkey bone broth will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
- You can freeze it for a very long time, up to 1 year.
- It can be frozen in freezer containers, freezer bags, or cube trays.
- Freezing it in cubes will allow you to defrost smaller portions needed to enrich the taste of a soup or stew, to make sauces or gravies.
How to use it?
- The most obvious thing would be to make soups.
- I also use bone broth to make stews, sauces, or gravies.
Vegetable Meatball Soup – Easy, quick, healthy, and delicious meatball soup recipe.
Pork and Potato Stew – Even if this is a pork stew, you can still use this broth to make it.
Cream of Turkey Soup – The perfect way of using the turkey’s carcass and any leftover meat.
Turkey Bone Broth Recipe
- 4.5 lbs turkey bones or leftover turkey carcass See note
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 large carrots unpeeled, large chunks (See note)
- 1 large celeriac piece large chunks (or 4-5 celery sticks)
- 3 onions unpeeled, halved
- 1 garlic head unpeeled, halved horizontally
- a bunch of parsley stalks optional
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- sea salt
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 gallon water
- Carcass: If using a turkey carcass, there is no need to roast it. In this case, skip the roasting step, place the carcass into the pot, add everything else and let simmer as the recipe requires.
- Roast bones: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/ 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry the bones and place them on a large baking tray. Rub them well with the olive oil and roast them for 1 hour, turning once after half time.
- Cook: Place the bones and all other ingredients in a very large pan. Cover with water. Use more water if necessary to completely cover the bones and the veggies. Slowly bring to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 24 hours. Add more water if necessary so that the ingredients are always covered.
- After such a long cooking time, the bones should begin to crumble; that is a good thing, signifying that all the nutrients have been extracted.
- Strain and discard the bones and vegetables. Strain the bone broth again through a fine-mesh sieve or a clean cloth.
- Store: Place into jars or other containers (suitable for freezing if you want to freeze the bone broth).
- You can use any bones you have to make the bone broth: chicken, turkey, duck, goose, beef, veal, lamb, pork, or a mixture of some of them. Use so-called “soup bones” and marrow bones, if available. Also, include some parts like knuckles, feet, or wings; these parts contain more cartilage.
- The vegetables are optional, but I always add them to any bone broth or stock I make.
- The nutritional information is calculated for the whole batch of turkey bone broth. However, these calculations are only approximate.