Waste not, want not. How many times did we hear that when we were growing up? I don’t know about you but I heard it fairly often. Today I am back from over two weeks of travel and so it is time to deal with a few things left from our Canadian Thanksgiving. I hosted dinner this year and was fortunate to have friends supply the turkey from their farm. What I wasn’t expecting was the same friends to bring me an additional gift. Upon their arrival, with a sheepish look on his face my friend held up a double plastic bag lump and said, “after our conversation the other day about not wasting food and using what you have to create nutritious, delicious food I just couldn’t give this to the dogs.” I wondered what he was talking about.
It turns out that he had spent the day deboning turkeys so that he could freeze some turkeys in pieces rather than whole birds. I have had one of the BBQ turkey breasts at his house and believe me they are to die for. Huge succulent breasts that supply enough white meat for several meals. Yum.
Anyway, the big lump turned out to be a turkey carcass that he was going to feed to the dogs but he thought better of it because of a conversation we had where I was bemusing about how easy it is to eat economically but well. One of the things I mentioned, was never throwing out vegetable peels and bits or bones left over after a meal. So there he was gifting me a turkey carcass and because I was leaving the next day I did not have time to deal with the carcass so I froze it. Today I took the carcass from the freezer to use for making turkey stock.
I got a tip from a friend about roasting bones before you boil them and so for the last several years I have been doing that. The roasted bones give so much more flavour to the soup stock and also create a beautiful brown coloured stock. Why would I make soup stock you might ask? Well, not just for soups. remember my son hates soup. No, I use soup stock when I make risotto, when I make polenta, for flavour when I cook rice and in several other recipes such as short ribs and stews. I freeze the stock in 2-4 cup portions and my freezer is never without a supply. I have not bought soup stock in a very long time and it used to be a staple item on my grocery list. I like to have vegetable stock, poultry stock, beef stock and fish stock in my freezer at all time so that I am prepared for any recipe I might want to make.
I thought I would show you how I make turkey stock and then give you a few links to recipes that use stock.
How to Make Turkey Stock
Place the turkey carcass or bones in a roasting pan and sprinkle with a little herbs of provence and salt and pepper. Put into a 375 degree oven and roast until golden brown.
When the carcass is browned remove from the oven. Place in stock pot and cover bones with water. Simmer for one to two hours.
Strain the bones out from the liquid.
Place a lid on the stock and chill overnight.
Skim any fat that has set on the top of your stock off and discard.
Pour stock through a fine sieve and then freeze in desired amounts.
Here are a few links to recipes that use stock.
Basic Risotto http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/rice-recipes/a-basic-risotto-recipe
101 Soups http://www.canadianliving.com/food/menus_and_collections/101_soup_recipes.php