How to make a homemade poultry stock.

poultry stock
Preparing a homemade stock may be quite time consuming. However, a homemade stock is an essential ingredient in the kitchen and can be used in a great number of meals.

It can turn a plain dish into a fantastic dish.

To save time, many people just add boiling water to a regular stock cube, which is fine for convenience. Nevertheless, with a stock cube, it is likely that you will be left with a very salty liquid, which does not compare to a proper homemade tasty stock.

The same can be said for homemade gravy, which can be made from a homemade poultry or beef stock. Gravy made from gravy granules is ok, but it's nothing like the real thing.
As well as being the main ingredient in a homemade gravy, you can use a poultry, meat or vegetable stock to make stews, casseroles, soups and other savoury dishes.

A good homemade poultry stock is made from a variety of vegetables, herbs and from the carcass, bones and meat of any roasted poultry. Making a stock is a great way of using up every part of a whole cooked bird, as absolutely nothing is wasted.

A homemade stock is easy to prepare, very economical and can be stored in your freezer for several months if you are not going to use it immediately.

To obtain a richer more flavoursome stock, it is always better to use the meat or at least some of the meat from the whole bird after it has been roasted.

The boiled meat can then be used in sandwiches, salads, soups or casseroles.

Below is a simple and traditional recipe for making a turkey stock from unwanted turkey meat and giblets, although you could just as well use the same recipe for a chicken stock too.

If you are going to roast a whole turkey (or chicken), remove the giblets and neck from the bird and set aside to make the stock.

On the other hand, if you make the stock after roasting the turkey, add the carcass, bones and meat to the vegetables and boil all of the ingredients together.

When preparing a stock, ensure that the vegetables have been thoroughly washed, although you may leave the skins on if you so wish.

Turkey stock (for 4 pints of stock)

  • 2½ - 3 lb (1.1 - 1.4 kg) of turkey giblets (except the livers), neck, back and wings
  • carcass, bones and surplus turkey meat if after roasting
  • 2 peeled onions cut into quarters
  • 6 pints (3.4 l) of cold water
  • 3 carrots with the tops removed
  • 2 sticks of celery cut into chunks
  • 5 - 6 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme or ¾ tsp of dried thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 crushed black peppercorns
  1. Wash the giblets thoroughly and place in a large soup pan with the turkey meat and the quartered onions. Gently cook for a few minutes over a moderate heat, stirring the pieces occasionally so that they brown evenly.
  2. Add the water and slowly bring to the boil, stirring well. As the water starts to boil, skim off any impurities that appear on the surface of the liquid with a spoon.
  3. Next, add all of the remaining ingredients and partially cover the pan with a lid. Simmer slowly for a further 3 hours or until the liquid has reduced by half.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the stock into a bowl by using a sieve. Throw away the vegetables but keep any good bits of meat for a soup or sandwiches.
  5. Leave the stock to cool and then place in the fridge to chill overnight or until cold.
  6. Finally, when the stock is cold, remove from the fridge and take away the layer of fat that will have formed on the surface.
  7. The stock will now be ready to use and will provide a delicious flavour to your home cooked meal.
If you are not used to making a homemade gravy to accompany a traditional roast dinner, try this simple recipe below, which uses the stock from the recipe above.

This gravy can be made in a few minutes whilst the roasted turkey or chicken is resting.

To make a gravy from the stock

  1. Remove the stock from the refrigerator an hour before it is needed or if you prefer, reheat the stock until just before it starts to boil.
  2. Whilst the cooked roast turkey is resting, spoon off any fat from the roasting tin, but leave the meat juices there.
  3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of plain flour into the roasting tin, mix together with the meat juices and cook for 2 - 3 minutes over a low - medium heat, making sure that you briskly stir the mixture all the time.
  4. Remove from the heat and gently stir in two or three ladlefuls of the prepared poultry stock.
  5. Return to a low heat and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining stock and if you wish 3½ - 7 fl oz (100 - 200 ml) of dry white wine.
  6. Bring to the boil whilst stirring constantly and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  7. Add salt and pepper to your taste and then sieve and transfer to a gravy jug, ready to serve.

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