Want to take your Thanksgiving recipes up to the next level?
You can start by buying and roasting turkey necks to make stock. If you can’t find turkey necks, wings work just as well. Just buy whichever is cheaper per pound at the meat counter or butcher near you.
Not only will this technique dial up your Thanksgiving recipes in the flavor department, but it can also get you ahead when it comes to your Thanksgiving prep.
Stock can be made five days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator or, if you want to make it further ahead you can freeze it.
Go ahead and make your roast turkey neck stock now and freeze it for your Thanksgiving recipes*. Would I go to the effort of roasting turkey necks every time I want to make stock? No, but for a special meal like Thanksgiving, I find the richness of this stock is well worth the extra time and effort. This year, I specifically made it to go in a mushroom risotto, but this stock is perfect for adding to dressing, gravy (please note that the recipe links to beef gravy, but the same technique works for your Thanksgiving turkey gravy, too) mashed potatoes, whatever calls for stock, or broth on your menu.
When you are looking in the meat case, you will typically find turkey necks tucked away in the corner as they are not an expensive cut, so they don’t get the prime real estate.
Cheesecloth or a chinois really comes in handy when straining your turkey neck stock, or you can use it to make a bouquet garni if you want. I prefer to take the toss it in the pot and then strain approach. What about you?
To cool your stock quickly, try using the water bath method if you have a deep sink. Place the pot on one end of the sink and fill the sink partway with cool water. Change the water a couple of times and then add ice. The pot is on one end of the sink to ensure that no water splashes into the stock, potentially contaminating it.
As we live in hurricane country, we frequently have containers full of ice from the freezer that can be used for this purpose.
Quickly cooling your stock places less strain on your refrigerator or freezer when you are storing a large amount of stock for future use.
How to Roast Turkey Necks for Awesome Stock
Roast Turkey Neck Stock
Roast turkey necks make a rich stock for Thanksgiving recipes.
- 3 lbs turkey necks
- cooking spray or olive oil -unless you like scrubbing a roasting pan
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 large carrot, scrubbed and cut into chunks
- 2 ribs celery, washed, cut into chunks, with the leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion peeled, washed, and cut into quarters
- Approximately 4 quarts COLD water
Roast Turkey Neck Stock Instructions:
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray or olive oil.
- Place the necks in the roasting pan, if you want, you chop up the necks with a heavy cleaver, this will allow more gelatin to leach into the stock, but I don’t always bother and didn’t this time -obviously. And, do I need to mention you should do this on a cutting board and NOT in your roasting pan?
- Roast at 450 for about 45 minutes, turning occasionally until the necks are a rich brown and cooked through.
- Place the necks and remaining ingredients in a 6-quart stock pot.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- Allow it to simmer, skimming occasionally for 4 – 6 hours.
- Strain through cheesecloth and a strainer into a bowl or pitcher. Use immediately or follow the next steps to store:
- Set the bowl or pitcher in a cool water bath, changing the water frequently, or just add some ice cubes a handful at a time. Place the stock in the refrigerator overnight and skim off any fat.
- Pour the stock into freezer-safe containers (I use zippered freezer bags) label and freeze.