If you are fortunate enough to have access to a farmer who raises pastured turkeys (organic pastured, even better) then you certainly don't want to waste even a little of it. We're always learning how to stay healthy while still stretching our food budget. This is one of the best ways right here!
It's worth the extra cost to get a poultry raised on pasture and the cost isn't all that much more when you consider how many meals you can get from just the one turkey.
After cooking a turkey after Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can get continued goodness from the turkey carcass by making this turkey bone broth (or soup broth as I call it.)
Turkey Bone Broth
- One turkey carcass (majority of the meat removed)
- A large soup pot
- Enough water to cover at least most of the bones
- 1 T of Apple Cider Vinegar (with the 'Mother') (Why ACV? Because this helps draw out the minerals from the bones, which makes a very healing, nutritious broth!)
- Place the turkey carcass in the soup pot. Cover it as much as possible with water. I use water from our well, but if you are in the city, consider using filtered water.
- If the carcass is too big, you can try and break it up to make it fit. If you don’t have a pot big enough, buy one. You won’t regret it.
- Place the pot on the stovetop and turn the heat on high. Bring to a boil. Once it boils, skim the weird stuff off the top and turn the heat down. Add 1 T of the Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Let it cook. For many hours. I usually set mine up to cook after the holiday meal is over and I'm cleaning up. I then let it cook on simmer overnight.
- If you aren't cooking overnight, you will likely find that about three hours is usually enough. What you want to wait for is that moment when everything just collapses and the broth is golden and fragrant and has a nice glow to it.
- Add salt to taste. You will need a lot. More than you think. (If you are used to those store-bought brands of soups and broths, you will feel you need a whole lot of salt. Our family is used to about 4 teaspoons or so.)
- Turn off the heat and let the soup sit until cool enough to strain. But in the meantime, enjoy eating as much as you can.
For the clearest broth, you will want to strain the liquid from the bones. I use a stainless steel fine mesh strainer that looks like a cone. Put it over another big pot, and pour the whole mixture in so the strainer still holds the bones and all that is in the other pot is a clear broth. Feel free to pick over the carcass and save the meat for use in other ways (all pets will stare adoringly at you while you complete this process).
You now have “bone broth,” or basic soup stock.
If you’ve done all this correctly, you will have far more broth than you can eat in one meal. So you’ll want to freeze the extra for those times when you just need some broth. It freezes super well. (I prefer to can it and put it in the basement, however, there isn't always time for this!)
Freezing Bone Broth:
Ladle the broth into a wide-mouth glass jar (I use a funnel to reduce spillage). Make sure to leave an inch or two at the top of the jar because the broth will expand when it freezes.
Put a label on it. Wait till it cools (store it in the fridge overnight if you must) and then put it in the freezer.
This broth can then be used for soups, stews, chicken pot pie, or the base for just about any sauce. I even sneak it into my enchilada sauce as a base, in order to get the kids to eat more of this healthy broth.