Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tasty turkey stock

It's turning out to be another soup weekend!

While rummaging through the freezer yesterday, I spotted some turkey necks and backs that I had intended to use for Thanksgiving, but never did.

These things are perfect for stock. So before heading over to Sara and Eric's for illegal cassoulet (, I started on making homemade stock.

I first browned the 2 inch pieces of necks and backs in canola oil in the stock pot over medium high heat. During the browning process, I used a trick that renders an unbelievably deep flavor.

Here it is.

While browning, your turkey will begin to form what is termed as "fond". Fond is basically that caramelized layer of stuff that sticks to the bottom of the browning pan. It is pure flavor-packed goodness. The fond is your friend. After a while, you'll get a really good layer of fond. Add a few tablespoons of water to the turkey and scrape the fond from the pan. Continue to cook. The water will eventually evaporate and a new layer of fond will form. Then again, after a good layer of fond forms, add more water. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times, making sure you're carefully monitoring your heat. DO NOT burn the fond.

Once your turkey is browned, add enough water to cover, and slowly bring to a simmer. You do not want the stock to bubble. Place the stock pot into a 180 degree oven ( a trick I learned from Michael Ruhlman ) for no less than 3 hours. I left mine in for 9. It's up to you. An hour before your stock is done, throw some aromatics in your pot. I added chopped carrots, a chopped onion, 10 peppercorns, a bay leaf and a spring of sage.

When your stock is done, strain through a colander, then through a cheesecloth. Cool, then refrigerate.

You now have a tasty turkey stock.

What soup will the stock end up making?

A chicken and spaetzle with leeks and roasted garlic soup..I'll post the recipe later.

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