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Turkey Stock Recipe

How to make great turkey stock
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 45 minutes
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American
Keyword: turkey stock
Servings: 8 people


Standard Turkey Stock

  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 1 yellow onions skin on, cleaned and cut in half
  • 2 large carrots scrubbed and cut in half
  • 2 ribs celery leaves included, cut in half
  • 3 stems parsley
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • cold water to cover by 1 inch

Other additions or substitutions

  • 1 leek well washed, instead of onions
  • 1 head garlic cut in half (or just a couple of whole cloves)

Chinese-Style Turkey Stock - in addition to the standard ingredients add:

  • ½ inch fresh ginger
  • 2 whole star anise pods

Italian-Style Turkey Stock - in addition to the standard ingredients add:

  • white wine about ⅛ of the amount of water
  • 2 tomatoes quartered and seeded
  • 2 sprigs tarragon


The Process

  • Pick as much meat off the turkey carcass as possible, and reserve it for soup or turkey salad.
  • Place the whole turkey carcass in a large stockpot. Add large chunks of vegetables, a few whole spices, and herbs.
  • Fill the stock pot with cold water to cover the ingredients by about an inch.
  • Place the pot on the stove over medium heat. Once the water reaches a fairly active simmer, adjust the heat so the liquid bubbles gently. You do not want the stock to boil, which will lead to too much evaporation.
  • Also, the proteins and fats being released from the bones can emulsify and make the stock cloudy. This will not affect the final flavor of the dish, but if you want a pretty and clear stock, make sure the stock does not boil.
  • As the stock simmers, a layer of grayish protein foam will rise to the surface. Carefully skim this off with a large spoon or a ladle.
  • Let the stock simmer for several hours, adding as much water as necessary to maintain the volume. However, you should not have too much evaporation if you have maintained a slow simmer.
    You will know when the vegetables and bones have given up all of their flavors when you can snap a small turkey bone in half with minimal effort.
  • Strain the stock through a fine strainer, pressing down on the solids. Discard the solids, and strain the stock again.
    If you use the stock immediately, carefully skim off the fat that rises to the top. If not, leave the fat on, as it can be more easily removed when solidified.
  • You will want to chill the stock very quickly. You can carefully pour the stock into a metal bowl inside a larger metal bowl that has ice in it (an ice bath) and stir until the stock has cooled.


You can leave out the celery; some people say it makes stock bitter although I haven’t found this to be the case.
Another way to chill the stock quickly is to freeze plastic bottles of water and place them in the stock to cool it.