Roasted Turkey Stock

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Turkey soup is the best part of the turkey, a luscious home for good egg noodles, cooked rice, or, if you are sadly alone, a poached egg. Although turkey stock is good made using just water, it will be richer and fuller if started with chicken stock. After one successful bout of stock making, try starting with the carcass and part of a previous batch of stock and water if needed. I suppose that turkey stock could be made with a whole turkey, but I never do. I roast and serve the turkey and then snatch back all the bones in pleasant anticipation of a wonderful meal.

While stock does not have to be skimmed continuously after the first skimming when it has come to a boil, occasional skimming is an aid to clear stock. Also, in cases where the fat is very strongly flavored (lamb, for instance), skimming will prevent that strong flavor from getting into the stock. After the stock has finished cooking, it should be allowed to sit for around twenty minutes, when a final skimming can take place.

If it is all possible, the stock should be refrigerated overnight. The fat will rise to the surface and harden, making it easier to remove. The sediment will settle to the bottom of the stock. It can be removed as well. I don’t bother if I am using the stock for an earthy bean soup, but I do if I am making an elegant consommé. To separate the sediment from the bottom of liquid stock, spoon the clear stock from the top, leaving the sediment behind. If the stock has gelled, turn it out of its bowl and scrape off the sediment-laden layer. I tend to eat it. Clarification may remove it, but it is iffy.

Makes10 cups (2.5 l)



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturesavory

Type of DishThanksgiving Leftovers, stock


  • Carcass of a roasted 8- to 15-pound (3.6- to 6.8-kg) turkey, broken or cut into pieces, plus the gizzard, heart, and neck
  • 12 cups (3 l) Basic Chicken Stock , commercial chicken broth, or water


  1. Bring the carcass, gizzard, heart, neck, and liquid to a boil in a large stockpot. Skim the fat. Lower the heat. Simmer for 6 hours or longer (I sometimes leave it for 12 hours or longer), skimming from time to time (see Notes). Partially covering the pot with a lid or using an otoshi-buta will mean less evaporation. Otherwise, more water may need to be added for the longer cooking times.

  2. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve. The stock can be refrigerated at this point and continued another day.

  3. Skim off the fat from the stock. Return to the pot and boil to reduce the liquid to 10 cups (2.5 l). Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

  4. Remove the fat from the top of the and the sediment from the bottom (see Notes). Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze.



I have not made this yet so I cannot rate it.

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