Although canned turkey broth is available from the grocery store and very convenient to use, homemade turkey giblet stock, such as our Golden Thanksgiving Turkey Giblet Stock, will provide an unbeatable, rich turkey flavor to your homemade gravy and stuffing. Chefs refer to stocks as the “foundations of cooking” for good reason. A good homemade stock is the base not only for gravy, but for so many dishes from risottos to soups and stews.
Making homemade turkey giblet stock is well worth the effort and truly a breeze once you know how. The best part of preparing your own turkey giblet stock is knowing that it was made from all-natural ingredients and simmered slowly to capture the purest of flavors from the turkey bones and specialty meats (giblets) as well as fresh aromatic vegetables, herbs and spices.
10 Tips for Making Turkey Giblet Stock & Recipe for Day-After Turkey Stock:
In addition to our recipe, please review the following general tips for making homemade turkey stock. We hope you find them helpful.
- Keep in mind that our stock recipe is for turkey giblet stock. It is for when you want to make a fresh, homemade stock with the specialty meats (giblets) before roasting your turkey. Alternatively, you can ask your butcher for turkey parts (wings are an excellent choice) to make a rich turkey stock before roasting your turkey.
- It is best to prepare the stock a day or two in advance to keep the holiday less stressful. Keep the stock refrigerated until ready to use. If you prepare turkey stock using turkey parts from your butcher, you can prepare your stock even further in advance such as a week or two. If so, freeze the stock and then thaw when ready to use.
- Always use cold water. Always. Cold. The food science explanation for this is that hot or warm water causes the meat proteins to coagulate into tiny particles that cloud the stock. However, when cold water is used, and heated slowly, the proteins clump together and rise to the surface where they can easily be skimmed away.
- Never stir the stock as this will just stir up the small particles and make it cloudy as well as slightly gritty. Also, never press on the solids when straining. This will create a cloudy stock as well.
- After bringing stock to a rapid simmer, always keep the stock at a bare simmer. A full rolling boil evaporates the liquid too quickly and makes the stock cloudy.
- Any fat remaining after skimming the froth can easily be removed after the stock has been chilled. Simply remove the fat solids from the top of the liquid.
- If adding dried herbs to your stock, consider using a tea ball or some cheesecloth to make an herb packet by gathering it and tying securely with cotton twine. With the long end of the twine, tie the herb packet to the handle of the pot. This will make removing the herbs easier.
- For long term storage, keep in the freezer. You do not need special freezer containers. You can simply use heavy-duty zip-top freezer bags.
- Do not discard the turkey carcass after you enjoy your holiday dinner and leftovers. Keep the entire carcass, including wing tips and a little meat and skin, for making Day-After Turkey Stock.
- Finally, don’t fret. If your turkey stock is not clear, it really is no biggie. We’re not making consommé! 😉
BONUS: Did you know? You can make your own bouillon. Yep, you can! Here’s how:
To Make Homemade Bouillon: Reduce stock until it becomes syrup-like and coats the back of a spoon. Once the reduced stock cools, it will gel and become thick. Homemade bouillon will keep for 2 months stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Simply use by the teaspoon or tablespoon to enhance the flavor of gravies, sauces and soups in place of bouillon cubes.
Quick & Easy Recipe for Day-After Turkey Stock
To make Day-After Turkey Stock, here is a quick and easy recipe:
Use a large stock pot and make sure to use enough water to cover the turkey carcass and leave room for vegetables.
To a large, empty stockpot, combine turkey carcass (broken into several pieces), 3 celery stalks chopped in half, 2 carrots chopped in half, 1 large yellow onion quartered and 1½ to 2 teaspoons black peppercorns.
Add 12 to 14 cups of water, enough to cover. If desired, add 1 bay leaf and use fresh or dried thyme and sage, about 4½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves and 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) fresh finely chopped sage leaves or 1½ teaspoons dried thyme and 1 teaspoon dried sage.
Over high heat, bring the stock to a rapid simmer. (Do not bring to a boil.) Reduce heat and simmer until stock is reduced by a third, about 3½ hours. Carefully strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth discarding the solids.
IMPORTANT: Cool the stock, first. It is important to cool the stock enough before refrigerating to prevent possible multiplication of harmful bacteria. Cover and refrigerate.
Stock will keep chilled for to 2 to 3 days or frozen for 3 to 6 months. Makes about 9 cups. Adapted from Bon Appétit.
What makes our Golden Thanksgiving Turkey Giblet Stock wicked good?
Our Golden Thanksgiving Turkey Giblet Stock is truly a stock that stands apart from others. It is seriously wicked good! Our recipe starts with browning the turkey neck and specialty meats and then deglazing the pan for added flavor. (If you wish to kick up your stock, you may deglaze your pan with port wine.) Most recipes for turkey stock do not call for these important steps. However, even Chef Wolfgang Puck incorporates the steps of browning the turkey neck and specialty meats as well as deglazing the pan for his flavorful turkey giblet stock. Furthermore, the addition of the tangerine rinds, with the release of citrus essential oils, makes for an extraordinary stock with bright yet robust flavor notes which carry through to the gravy. While the stock is simmering, your house will be filled with a pleasing aroma like no other turkey stock recipe. It just simply is not Thanksgiving or Christmas at our house without this turkey stock!
To make Thanksgiving Day or the Christmas holiday less stressful, prepare the stock a day or two in advance. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. You will need 4 cups of this stock for our component recipes for stuffing and gravy–5-Star Apple, Sausage & Cranberry Stuffing and Golden Thanksgiving Pan Gravy.
To learn more about making homemade turkey giblet stock, please see our Turkey Giblet Stock 101 Tutorial, below the recipe, complete with step-by-step photos and instructions.
More Fabulous Thanksgiving Recipes
Meanwhile, below are links to all of my Thanksgiving recipes to date here on the blog (to include component recipes) for Brandy and Tangerine-Glazed Roasted Turkey.
Brandy and Tangerine-Glazed Roasted Turkey
Includes article and links to all of my Thanksgiving recipes here on the blog as well as including the recipe for Golden Thanksgiving Pan Gravy. In addition, a list of roasting times based on the weight of the bird, and whether you will be roasting your turkey stuffed or unstuffed, is included.
Also, you will find oodles of Tips for each component recipe listed below that can be found all in one handy place—in the Notes section of the recipe for Brandy and Tangerine-Glazed Roasted Turkey.
- Herbed Tangerine Compound Butter
- Roasting Pan Juices
- Cider, Citrus & Herb Aromatics
- Apple Cider, Brandy & Tangerine Glaze
- Golden Thanksgiving Pan Gravy
Each recipe contributes phenomenal depth of flavor for an exceptional roasted holiday turkey.
Cider and Citrus Turkey Brine with Herbs & Spices
Includes the article, General Brining Tips for a Tender & Juicy Bird.
5-Star Apple Sausage and Cranberry Stuffing
Includes the article 10 Tips for Making Stuffing (or Dressing) for Thanksgiving. This original recipe of mine was submitted to Allrecipes.com back in 1998. (Actually, back then, it was submitted to ThanksgivingRecipes.com before being moved to their main recipe site.) The recipe was also published in Allrecipes cookbooks. Soon after submission, the recipe went viral as newspaper food editors, grocery store chains and turkey farms were sharing the recipe with their readers. Since then, it has become a favorite recipe for Thanksgiving Stuffing around the country.
Best wishes for a wonderful and meaningful Thanksgiving holiday with your families!
- Neck and giblets (heart & gizzard) from a 16 to 20 pound fresh turkey, rinsed & patted dry
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin or light olive oil
- 8 cups filtered or purified water, such as distilled
- 3 celery ribs (including tops), sliced
- 2 large carrots, unpeeled & sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, quartered into wedges with skin intact
- Rind of 3 tangerines, with white pith removed, optional
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ teaspoons black peppercorns
- Pinch kosher salt, optional
Tips:The stock may be made 2 days in advance. Cool completely, uncovered. Cover and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use. Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.
Step-by-Step Tutorial: Golden Turkey Giblet Stock 101
Mise en Place: Everything in place. All pre-measured, rinsed, patted dry and chopped. Neck and giblets from a 16- to 20-pound fresh turkey, olive oil, purified water, celery, carrots, onion, tangerine rinds, fresh rosemary and thyme, bay leaf and whole black peppercorns. Kosher salt is optional and not pictured here.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. As you can see, I am adding light olive oil here.
Once the oil ripples and is hot, add the neck and giblets and cook until well browned all over, about 6 minutes. Be sure that you have rinsed and fully patted dry the turkey neck and specialty meats to prevent hot oil splatter when adding them to the pan. As you can see, the oil is rippling indicating that the pan and oil is hot enough to add the turkey neck and specialty meats to brown.
Here, I am using tongs to add the turkey neck to our hot saucepan with light olive oil to brown. Using tongs makes turning the turkey neck and specialty meats over for even browning very easy.
Next, we start adding the specialty meats while using tongs to turn the meats often to brown evenly.
Keep turning the neck and specialty meats often for even browning.
Remove the pan from the heat; add ½ cup water and deglaze, scraping up the brown bits. Return the pan to medium heat. Look at that flavor bursting through! Here, I am adding ½ cup water to deglaze the pan.
Here, I am using an angled wooden spatula which is so ideal in scraping up the brown bits when deglazing a pan.
Add the vegetables, rind, herbs and peppercorns as well as the remaining water. As you can see, I am adding the celery, including some of the tops, for flavor.
Next in, the carrots.
Here, I start adding the onion wedges. By keeping the onion skins intact, we are allowing more flavor to come through in our stock.
Now for the citrus rind for spectacular flavor. Here, I am adding sections of tangerine rind where the bitter white pith has been carefully removed with a paring knife. The essential oils from the tangerine are what we are after and not bitterness from the pith.
Now for the herbs. In goes the bay leaf and fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs.
Here, I am adding the whole black peppercorns. Whole black peppercorns are essential for robust flavor in any stock.
Here, I am adding the remaining water.
As you can see, our turkey giblet stock is on her way. She’s looking mighty fine. The goal now is to bring the stock to a rapid simmer, but not a full boil.
Bring the stock to a rapid simmer, skimming the froth occasionally. As you can see, we are just starting to get some bubbling action.
Our stock is bubbling nicely now. However, as we get closer to boiling point, these bubbles are going to turn into an undesirable froth which must be skimmed.
As you can see, our Golden Thanksgiving Turkey Giblet Stock has reached a rapid simmer, just before reaching a full boil. (Do not boil.) Now it is time for the stock to cook over low heat at a bare simmer for 2 hours. Skim the froth occasionally.
As you can see here, I am skimming some froth. Next, strain the stock through a fine sieve into a large 4-cup heatproof liquid measuring cup or bowl.
Isn’t this Golden Thanksgiving Turkey Giblet Stock beautiful? It tastes even better! As you can see, we have already strained our stock and transfered it to a pitcher to cool and then be placed in the fridge until we are ready to use it in our component recipes for stuffing and gravy.
There should be about 4 cups of stock. If there is more, simmer the stock until it is reduced to about 4 cups; if there is less, add enough water to measure about 4 cups. As we mentioned, you will need 4 cups of this stock for our component recipes for stuffing and gravy—5-Star Apple, Sausage & Cranberry Stuffing and Golden Thanksgiving Pan Gravy.