Leftover Turkey Stock

Great for soups, this leftover turkey stock makes use of the turkey carcass, which many people unwittingly toss in the trash, not knowing it can be the beginning of another great meal. There's a lot of flavor in them thar bones, and the remaining bits of meat and connective tissue add a richness to the stock that you just can't get from a can. After the turkey carcass has been picked clean, here's what you do.

Make Leftover Turkey Stock


  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Enough cold water to cover bones

  • Seasonings
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 large bay leaf

Contain the seasonings in a tied up square of doubled cheesecloth.

Place the turkey carcass in a baking pan and place in a 350 degree oven. Bake for 10 minutes to lightly brown the remaining bits of meat. Remove and allow to cool.

Break up the carcass and place the pieces in a large stock pot. You may need to chop some of the larger bones up if you can't break them. Distribute the bones evenly in the pot, then pour in enough water so the level is one inch deeper than the level of the bones.

Slowly bring the pot to a simmer. Watch for scum buildup and skim if off as it forms. In order to pull all the flavor from the bones and bits meat, simmer the bones for about 2 hours. Next, toss in the seasonings and chopped vegetables and simmer for another hour.

Remove the stockpot from the heat and let it sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. During this time larger particles will settle out. Separate the liquid from the solids by slowly pouring it through a strainer. Try to keep most of the solids in the stockpot as you pour.

Tips - Leftover Turkey Stock

  1. Don't stir the stock as it simmers. You'll end up with much clearer stock.
  2. Chop the leg and wing bones in half for more flavor.
  3. For clearer stock, line the strainer with cheesecloth.
  4. If the pot is too heavy, ladle the stock through the strainer.
  5. Cool the stock in a sink full of cold water before placing in the fridge.
  6. Remove the fat after the stock has chilled overnight.

If you plan to use the stock immediately you can use a skimmer to remove some of the fat if desired. A tall, narrow container makes fat removal easier.

Your leftover turkey stock is now ready to use in turkey soup or just served as a simple broth. Since the stock is not salted as it's prepared, remember to salt to taste when it's used.

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