17 December 2007

A taste of Thanksgiving year-round

Stock #1 made from giblets and neck bones

..with some turkey stock!

After reading the advice of many a foodie regarding stocks, I was itching to make one myself. Thanksgiving provided me w/ the perfect opportunity to boil up some bones and make a stock. If you've never made a stock before because it sounds complicated, DO NOT FEAR THE STOCK! It is super easy. Can you boil stuff? Yes? Well, you can make stock.

The gist:
1) Brown your bones before boiling. This will deepen the flavor.
2) Boil your bones and water with some aromatics (saute onions, celery, carrots) and herbs
3) Let it all simmer on low (barely perceptible) for several hours. I did mine for 3 hours and decided that it had reduced enough.
4) Strain and let cool.
5) Skim off the fat that settles on top of your lovely gelatinous creation.

Stock #2 after reducing for ~3 hours on VERY low simmer, then strained

This shizz is LIQUID GOLD! It is packed with flavor and can serve as a base for soups and sauces. Half of this is sitting in my freezer; it comes in handy when I want soup and want to just throw things together. A tip I read on another forum was to freeze your stock individually (e.g., use ice cube trays, zip baggies). That is a great idea that I wish I had known before b/c it's kind of a pain to chip away at the large block that I have.

I actually made two batches of stock (the first from the giblets and neck bones and the second from the carcass). The first batch was used for making the turkey gravy (roux-based). Anyway, if you stick to the general principles, you could concoct any stock of your choosing so long as the ingredients work (e.g., the juniper berries I put in were good, but a little strong). Best of luck in your future stock adventures!

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