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I don’t want to say that it’s as easy as going to your pantry and opening up one of those box-style cartons of stock, but if you’ve already got all of the ingredients in your refrigerator, pantry and spice rack, why not make it by yourself?  There’s something special about using your own stock (pulling it from the freezer) to make countless dishes for you and your family. I love that you are getting the most out of that Thanksgiving turkey, not to mention the leftover crudite platter.  Grab a stray onion or two and a couple of spoonfuls of peppercorns, a bay leaf or two an you are well on your way to creating homemade turkey stock.

Besides the benefit of the amazing smell that will be coming from your kithen (probably bringing in your family to see what your making), you can use your homemade stock to flavor soups, stews and sauces.  To that end, I love using homemade stock when making carrot, butternut squash and pumpkin soup.  Or for you risotto fans, use your homemade stock to flavor your next creamy risotto.

I’m not sure if I’ve totally convinced you, but perhaps I’ve got you thinking about making your own chicken, vegetable or turkey stock.

 Homemade Turkey Stock

1 roast turkey carcass (remove most meat before making stock)

3 celery stalk (one with leaves if possible)

2 carrots (ends removed)

2 yellow onions, cut in half

2 tsp black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

Kosher salt


Add ingredients (except Kosher salt) to a large stock pot.  Cover with cold water.  Bring all ingredients to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer about 2 hours.  Taste and adjust seasoning with Kosher salt.

Strain liquid and discard carcass, vegetables, peppercorns and bay leaves.  Return liquid to pot.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  Skim fat off the top the next morning.  Store in airtight containers or in 1-quart freezer (zipper-top) bags.