RISE & SHINE KAUT43 OKC
I do not know how many of you have cooked a full on a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, but if you are like me and my menu… you got through a lot of chicken stock or turkey stock.
There are some excellent, pre-made stocks out there, available in the soup section of your favorite grocery store. Everything for every budget from a bouillon cube (add water) to free range, organic, low sodium, bone broth. For one basic Thanksgiving meal, someone can spend up to $30 alone on chicken or turkey stock!
For something so easy to make, and convenient (it sits on the stove simmering for hours while you do other things…like nap!) I prefer making my stock. Not even mentioning that you know what exactly is in it without all the preservatives and additives allowing a meat broth to hang out on a shelf unrefrigerated. Think about that.
On this week’s second part of the In the Kitchen With Scotty’s Thanksgiving segment, we’re going to learn how to make stocks…namely turkey stock. From this stock, we can make gravy/sauces and soup!
So a few things to know about stock making and this, in particular, is for poultry stocks:
The Source: Chicken or Turkey stock? For our intents and purposes… turkey! So those carcass scraps that are generally tossed out (wing tips, backs, neck-bones, tails) are perfectly fine when making poultry stock.
Sourcing those parts without buying the whole bird is easy. This time of year a lot of meat counters will have turkey wings, necks, and tails packaged up and ready for sale. If not ask the folks behind the counter if they have any scraps from their processing, or to reserve you some the next time they're breaking down turkeys. Just let them you need stock material, and they will do the rest.
If your family enjoys rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken, save the carcass and bones in a baggie and freeze until you're ready to make stock. Just add some fresh bones to supplement the base and flavor of your stock.
So organ meat in stock? Good question. Do you know when you get the "magic bag" of heart, liver, neck and such? I’m all about the neck bone (anything attached to a bone is good stock material), but the liver, gizzard, and heart.. not so much for stock making. Different impurities and flavor will add to that stock, and that is not “good eats” in my opinion. I prefer to stick to the bone rule: meat, bone, connective tissue, cartilage, are all good stuff that breaks down after a low and slow cooking process giving you a rich and flavorful broth.
Aromatics: So these are the veg, herbs, and spices you add to the stock to add another layer of flavor and hint of sweetness to your stock. Unless you’re making stock for a specific reason or style, like for ramen or Pho, overpowering the “source” flavor with aromatic flavors isn't necessary.
A basic mirepoix (meer-pwah), Onions and/or Leeks, Carrots, and Celery is a rule of thumb for stocks. The sweetness from the carrots and onion, with a little bitter balance from the celery. I also add garlic cloves for a light hint of garlic flavor… compliments most flavors that come out of my kitchen.
On top of the mirepoix flavors, we add a bouquet garni, or a tied bunch of herbs added to the pot for flavor and removed after cooking. There isn’t one specific “recipe” but always always always with Bay Leaf, Parsley, and Thyme. I also add Sage when I’m making turkey stock, and Rosemary when making chicken stock... Whole black peppercorns too! Now I’ve seen chicken stock recipes that call for one or two whole cloves, citrus peel, or chili pepper. Again, I like to keep my poultry stocks “meat” flavor forward and not overpower it with added spices.
Time and Temp: Always start your stocks out in cold water, not hot! The idea isn't to get the pot boiling quickly to extract flavors. The reason for cold water is that cold water penetrates the bones… it starts working its way through the porous material removing the taste. And you’ve heard me say many times when cooking proteins…”Low and Slow”. Lower temps for more extended periods of time gently breaks down connective tissue, cartilage, fats, bone material, adding to that great collective of gelatinous goodness and flavor in your stock. A great stock will take most of the day to cook. Seriously. Once cooled, and depending on the flavor source materials, you should end up with a cold container of turkey gelatin. That is how you know you did everything correctly.
Alright, so on to the stock.
4 pounds of bone/meat/carcass scraps. I found fresh packaged turkey necklines and tails
2 medium onions rough chopped (I don't even bother removing the papery skin)
3 carrots washed and chopped
3-5 ribs of celery (I prefer using the heart and leaves of the stalk) rough chopped
2 cloves of fresh garlic
10 thyme sprigs
5 Italian Parsley sprigs
1 large or 2 small bay leaf
3-4 stems fresh sage
Filtered Water - enough water to cover everything… about 1 1/2- 2 gallons
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Now I like a darker turkey stock, so we are going to roast the source parts and the veg. Roasting everything caramelizes the natural sugars in the meat and the mirepoix bringing out the sweetness and richer flavor along with the darker color. Place the turkey parts, mirepoix, and garlic in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with a little grapeseed oil or light olive oil, and roast about 25-30 minutes, carefully tossing everything around with tongs to get a nice caramelization on all side of the ingredients. Remove from the pan and dump everything (any juices and fat too) into a large 6-8 quart stock pot. Place the roasting pan on the stove and turn up the heat. Allow the bottom bits to sizzle and crisp, then add water (some use wine if you want that flavor in your stock) to deglaze the pan, scraping up all the good bits. Pour the fond into the pot with everything else.
Cover the goods in your pot with cold water…enough to cover the top. Have any extra water in a boiling kettle to add to the pot (this time hot water is ok) to top off the stock from evaporation. Add the tied bundle of herbs, bouquet garni, to the pot and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling bring the temp down to just barely a simmer. Slow and Low! Cover and let the stock do its thing for the next six hours. Yes, six. Every fifteen minutes for the first three times, skim the scum that floats to the top. These are impurities and not good eats. Check every thirty minutes or so after that for scum and add the hot water when needed to keep all the goods covered in water.
After six hours remove (very carefully) the pot from the heat. Set up a colander over another large container, and dump the contents inside. Toss out the bones, veg, and herbs. Rinse and wipe out the main pot, then grab another strainer and line it with cheesecloth (or use a fine mesh hand strainer) and place that on top of the main pot. Again, pour the contents from the second pot, through the second strainer, and into the main pot. You gave your stock another straining for a relatively clear stock.
Pour your strained stock into heatproof/food proof containers with lids. Let them cool down completely before placing in the fridge and cover. Keep what you like in the fridge, and you may freeze what is left and use another time.
Turkey Gravy makes 2-3 cups.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 cup turkey drippings from the roasting pan (leave the brown bits behind… just the liquid)
1 cup turkey broth (may use chicken)
Pour the pan drippings into a large liquid measure cup. If you do not get a full cup of pan drippings, add turkey stock to make up the difference. Let it rest a bit, so the fat separates from the drippings. Skim off as much of the fat as you can leaving the concentrated drippings behind.
In a medium saucepan begin melting the butter. Add the flour and stir in, until it has the consistency of peanut butter. Cook the crux for two minutes, stirring all the while.
Being heating the turkey drippings and turkey stock in a separate sauce pot. Adding cold liquid to your roux causes clumps!
Once the stock and drippings are simmering, pour them into the roux and whisk vigorously. Gently cook until thickened.
Add the black pepper and any salt you feel that you would need.
For “Giblet Gravy”
Pan fry the giblets (Neck, heart, gizzard, and NOT the liver) in a little butter until browned. Cover on water and simmer gently for one hour). Remove from the heat.
Let the giblets cool ™ remove them for the pot. Scape as much of the turkey meat from the neck-bone that you can with a fork. Chop up the remaining giblets.
Add the chopped giblets, shredded neck bone meat, and one chopped hard-cooked egg to your turkey gravy.
Why add a chopped egg? I have no idea. My Mamaw did it, so I do it!