Over the holidays, I made one of my favorite meals - a roasted turkey breast with mashed potatoes and gravy. YUM!
But this isn't a post about my mother's insanely easy and delicious recipe for roasted turkey. (Maybe later, if you're good.) It's about the wonderful thing you can do after you make any whole poultry recipe: make stock.
Homemade stock takes a little time, but it's mostly hands-off and not hard at all. Just throw carcass into a stockpot with aromatics and water, and simmer for half a day. The result is miles ahead of what you get out of the box or can. It's richer, smoother, and more flavorful.
I knew that because I only had a breast carcass, I was missing some of the most flavorful parts of the bird for stock. So to ramp up the flavor, I adapted a NYT recipe that called for roasting the carcass and veggies. This particular one also adds a splash of white wine, which in my book never hurts!
I roasted the carcass with onions, carrots, and celery, at 450 for about 20 minutes (or until the kitchen smelled like heaven!)
Then I tossed it all in a stockpot with white wine, and brought it up to a boil for 3 minutes to let the wine reduce. When it was syrupy, I added few smashed garlic cloves, thyme, and bay leaves. I topped it off with 3 quarts of water, and brought the pot back up to a full boil. Then I reduced it to a simmer, and left it there for the afternoon.
When it's golden and flavorful, I pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Once it's frozen solid, I pop the cubes out of the tray and into a freezer bag. This makes it easy to grab a couple of cubes to add to a recipe whenever I need some. And since it keeps for a long time this way, your one pot of stock will last you.
Of course one ice cube tray wasn't enough, so we ended up using a novelty Dr. Who tray to freeze the rest. Dalek-shaped turkey stock, anyone?