Now that your Thanksgiving dinner is history and you made it through Black Friday’s craziness it is time to look in the fridge and figure out what to do with the left over turkey bones. I make stock from the bones and use the stock either for soup or for risotto. There is a trick of the trade for making the stock rich and hearty….roast the bones.
I remove all of the meat from the bones and save the meat for later use. Take the bones and put a single layer of them on a baking sheet with parchment or Silpat. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and roast the bones, turning to make sure the bones are evenly browned. It usually takes a minimum of 1/2 hour to get the bones to a nice golden to dark brown color, depending on the amount of bones. Once the bones develop the nice color put them in a stock pot and add onions, carrots, garlic, a bay leaf, and whatever herbs you like to use. Add enough water to cover the bones and simmer for at least an hour (sometimes I simmer for several hours) until the liquid develops a nice deep color…and flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the pot from the stove and strain the stock to remove the bones and vegetables. Once the stock is cooled you can freeze the stock in zip lock bags for future use, I always have some sort of stock in my freezer. If you want to make turkey soup use the stock and add back the turkey meat that you took off the bones and what ever vegetables, rice, pasta you want. The broth adds tremendous flavor to the soup. Never again will I just take the turkey carcass with some turkey on it and boil it…not enough flavor for me.
The best part of the recipe above is you can use it with any type of meat bones. I’ve roasted bones from pork, duck, beef, and goose and made great stock. If you don’t have enough bones to make stock just put the bones in a zip lock bag and freeze until you do have enough to roast and make stock.
Once you begin to make stock from roasted bones you’ll never go back to the old way of just boiling bones…take my word for it.