Okay, are you ready for the before picture?
Yeah, bones and worn out veggies simmering in a big old pot, it's not what beauty contests are made of. Fortunately, it has a really nice personality. And it's one of those foods that look better (and taste better) the older it gets (what's not to love?) And it's one of those cheap people that probably wouldn't care one bit if you pulled out a coupon on your first date. I'd say it's hard not to love a personality like that. But maybe I'm biased.
After you've got your stock, you can freeze it in 2 C increments in freezer bags or some type of tupperware. Then when you want to make soup (or whatever), you can both save money and have a much tastier stock than you would with salt-in-a-can chicken stock from the store.
The recipe for turkey stock works any time you roast (or crock pot) a chicken as well.
Basic Poultry Stock
-1 turky or chicken carcass (Don't you just love recipes that start that way.) Seriously, though, just take the bones and whatever's hanging off of them--however icky it may look from a chicken or turkey. You can remove the skin if you'd like to not have so much fat.
-Include any vegetables, herbs, or drippings you used to cook with the bird. Or, if you're feeling energetic, add a few herbs and/or vegetables (such as onion, carrot, celery--but seriously, just chuck in whatever wilting stuff you've got--rinds from things like potatoes or squash work too)
-Enough water to cover bones/vegetables
-Salt and pepper (optional)
Cover the bones, herbs, and vegetables with water. Bring to boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until the broth is golden.
If you started with some meat still on the bones, you may want to pull it off to add it to a turkey soup. If not, or if that's too much work for you just move on down to the next step.
Pour broth through a strainer, squeezing the juices from the meat, herbs, and vegetables so that you get as much liquid out of them as possible. Come on, keep squeezing--those veggies and herbs are what is going to make your stock super delicious.
Refrigerate so that the fat hardens on top, then scrape it off. Pour or, since the broth might be gel-like at this point, scoop into freezer bags in portions that strike you as convenient for later (I usually do 2 C increments). Freeze the bags and use anytime a recipe calls for chicken broth.
Note: If your seasonings for the bird were unusual--say, particularly hot with chile powder or weird in some other way, you may want to note that on the bag. For standard stuff like sage, rosemary, etc. you probably don't need to do this, but if you're obsessive I will not stop you.
Tomorrow, we'll use this stock to make a very simple turkey soup. And after that, I promise we'll part with our turkey friend and get back to making sweet things. After all, Christmas is coming.