There is no comparison to the flavor and healthfulness of homemade broth. For rich flavor, start by roasting the turkey parts and vegetables, then make the broth. You can make your broth up to 30 days ahead of time and freeze for using Thanksgiving Day for gravy and afterwards for soup. If you make it the Monday of Thanksgiving week, you won’t need to freeze as the broth will be good until Friday (5 days). Freeze some for longer use.
7poundsturkey pieces such as thighs and legs
2mediumbrown or sweet onions
1whole head garlic
1cupwhite wine or dry vermouth optional
Boiling hot water to fill pot as needed
Pre-heat oven to 375° (190 c) and get out a large roasting pan. Remove as much skin and any extra fat that you can from turkey pieces. Place pieces into the roasting pan in a single layer
Roughly chop onions, carrots and celery. Split garlic head horizontally through the center (no need to peel). Add vegetables and garlic to the roasting pan with the turkey. Place pan in the oven and roast for 1 hour. At the end of the hour, add the wine and roast another 30 minutes.
Place roasted turkey and vegetables into a large pot (I use a tall 12 quart/liter). Add bay leaves, parsley, thyme, peppercorns and cold water. Bring the pot to just under a boil, turn down to low and barely simmer for about 6 hours. You want the pot to be at a slow, gentle bubble to extract as much flavor as possible. When the water level drops, add hot water from the kettle. Do not stir. Turkey and all vegetables should remain under water the whole time.
At the end of 8-12 hours (or longer), remove all meat, vegetables, herbs and discard, as they will be spent. Drain broth through a fine sieve or through a sieve and cheesecloth. Place in a sink filled with ice and cold water to cool quickly. Place pot on a trivet or small rack to help water circulation under the pot for faster cooling. Stir occasionally. You want the broth to cool as quickly as possible for food safety.
When stock is cool, below 70° (21° C), cover and place in the refrigerator. The next morning, remove any fat solidified on top, place into containers, label and freeze.
To thaw broth, place containers from the freezer into the refrigerator for 24 hours and thaw slowly. Alternatively, place frozen containers in a sink with cool water to start the thaw, then place semi-frozen broth into a pot and heat over low until liquid. Do not leave broth out on the counter to thaw at room temperature as this is not food safe.
Recipe from Chef Sally Cameron of AFoodCentricLife.com