My favorite part of Thanksgiving turkey is the roasted stock I make the next day! It is sublime if I do say so myself.
I got up at 4:15 a.m., feeling a little slow and the 30 degree weather didn't help matters at all. In fact, my birdbath in the backyard turned into an ice skating rink!
I had a 2 hour workout, back and bicep day and 30 minutes cardio, walking on the treadmill at 15% watching a silly show called Sweet 16 on VH1.
Then home to hack up the carcass! I am in the backyard, with my antique Briddell solid steel cleaver, it was a gift from my dad. He said it was from a restaurant in San Francisco that burned to the ground, this and another large knife were a few of the salvage items. I love things that come with a story!
The carcass needs to be hacked up to cut into the bones so all the gelatin can come out. I do it outside because turkey meat goes flying everywhere (I learned that the hard way).
Into the roasting pan goes all the hacked up bones and fat and any frozen chicken necks and pieces from my freezer.
I then add a couple big onions, cut in quarters, no need to peel them. Several stalks of celery, roughly cut up and lots of carrots, peeled and cut into big hunks.
I then roast it all in a 400 degree oven, stirring every once in a while, everything should get dark brown, with some crispy pieces.
Then all of this gets placed into a large stockpot and covered with cold water. I throw a few whole black peppercorns in, then bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer several hours, the end result will be a dark, rich, flavorful stock. Strain it and cool in the refrigerator until the fat forms a solid mass on the top, then remove and discard.
I will freeze the stock to use as a base for soup, just add some pasta or rice, a grating of Parmesan and it is the most delicious, simple meal. It can also be used for anything that calls for chicken or meat stock.
Your turkey carcass is probably gone by now, but if it's not, don't by pass this amazing treat. It really isn't that much work and there is nothing more satisfying than a homemade rich broth.