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Nothing makes better stock than a Thanksgiving turkey!  Even if you don’t use the stock right away, it’s always beneficial to make it and toss it in the freezer for a snowy winter day when you’ve been busy Christmas shopping.  It’s wonderful to pull out some leftover shredded turkey, a jar of stock, make a quick batch of homemade noodles and have a rich homey meal with virtually no work! DSC_1236

So today when you are done feasting, just cut the meat off the bones and throw the turkey carcass and any skin into a large pot (or two).  I had a 20lb turkey and it took two large stock pots to fit.  I took the wings and legs and scraps and put it in the tall one, and the main part of the turkey I broke in a couple pieces to make it small enough to fit in the cast iron pot.  If you still have the neck and innards, you can toss those in there too.  Cover it with water and add onions, celery tops and carrots.

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I usually put it on medium for about 3-5 hours.  The longer the better.  When the water level lowers, you can add a little more.  I don’t usually do this more than twice.  It’s important to keep the lid OFF the pot.  Really good stock is made when it evaporates and reduces down.  When it get to this kind of golden, beautiful liquid, just strain it and store in the fridge for a couple days, or the freezer for longer storage.

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My turkey made about twice this much, but I had already given the other 3 quarts away before I photographed it.  Also, this stock had been in the refrigerator, so the fat came to the top.  You can skim that off before you work with it to lose some of the fat.  Remember, this is homemade stock, so it doesn’t have the ridiculous sodium content of the stuff you buy.  You’ll need to taste it and add salt to your taste.  I love mine made into turkey noodle soup, or turkey vegetable soup.  You will be so happy you took that extra step and made gold out of garbage!