You can’t beat the flavor you get when you make homemade Turkey Stock for your Thanksgiving Stuffing. I have been making my own Stuffing for over twenty years. It is the most requested Thanksgiving Side Dish every year, and my secret really starts with the Turkey Stock.
Homemade Turkey Stock
- Large Stock Pot
- 1 Turkey Neck
- 1 Turkey Giblets Optional
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 large onion peeled and cut in half
- 3-5 cloves Garlic peeled and smashed, but not need to dice or chop
- 2 stalks Celery washed and added whole
- 1 Carrot Washed and added, no need to peel or chop
- 1 bunch Fresh Italian Parsley Optional, but this is my secret ingredient.
- 1 TBSP Salt
- 1 TBSP Black Pepper
- 8 Quarts Water
- Fill a Large Stock Pot with 8 Quarts of water.
- Add all of the ingredients into the stock pot.
- Cover stock pot and bring to a boil.
- After one hour, remove giblets and discard.
- After two hours, remove the neck. OPTIONAL: Allow to cool on a plate and pick the meat off when it is cool to add into Stuffing.
- Allow the broth to cool for an hour.
- Strain the broth. Discard all chunks.
- Use within 2-3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Making Stuffing the night before Thanksgiving is one of my fondest childhood Holiday memories. My first Thanksgiving job was crumbling toast for the Stuffing when I was five or six years old. The key to great Thanksgiving Stuff is using the neck and giblets from the turkey to make your own Turkey Stock. The Stuffing is so good that making my own Homemade Turkey Stock a day before Thanksgiving is tradition I continue to this day.
TIME SAVING TIPS
This stock is incredibly easy to make. It’s also perfect to make the day before you are eating because you can do other things while it simmers for three hours. I add everything in a 12 Quart Stock Pot and fill it with water.
It is also really quick, I normally have it simmering in under twenty minutes. I start the stock when I brine my turkeys and have it all done in a few hours.
The giblets are totally optional, and I always remove and discard them after the first hour of simmering in the stock. Some people choose to throw them away right away when they open the Turkey. Some people chop them up and include them in the Giblet Gravy, it is totally up to you.
THE TURKEY NECK
I leave the neck simmering in the stock for two hours before removing to cool. If you leave the necks in for longer than two hours, the flavor is completely boiled out of the meat. You want to leave the flavor in the neck meat because you can use the neck meat to add some rich, meatiness to your stuffing.