Although canned turkey broth is available from the grocery store and very convenient to use, homemade 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.
Why is our turkey giblet stock wicked good?
Our Golden Tangerine 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 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 Sausage, Apple & 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 instructions.
- 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 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
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ teaspoons black peppercorns
- Pinch kosher salt, optional
The stock may be made two days in advance. Cool completely, uncovered. Cover and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
Step-by-Step: Turkey Giblet Stock 101 Tutorial
Taking Center Stage: Neck and giblets from a 16 to 20 pound fresh turkey, olive oil, purified water, celery, carrots, onion, tangerines, fresh rosemary and thyme, bay leaves, whole black peppercorns and kosher salt.
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.
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 boil.
Bring the stock to a boil, 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 Tangerine Turkey Giblet Stock has reached a full 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 Tangerine 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 Sausage, Apple & Cranberry Stuffing and Golden Thanksgiving Pan Gravy.