In my, not so, humble opinion a great Thanksgiving dinner starts with good stock. So many recipes will call for chicken broth, but I have found that substituting it out with homemade turkey stock adds a much richer flavor than any canned chicken broth can offer. For this recipe, I roast the ingredients over very high heat to get a darker color. With color comes flavor. You know you have nailed it, when the stock turns to gelatin upon cooling. I treat this stuff like liquid gold and I think I could just drink it by the cupfuls.
Yield: 20 cups
- 15 pounds turkey legs
- 6 yellow onions, quartered with skin on
- 6 celery stalks, leaves removed and very coarsely chopped
- 6 carrots very coarsely chopped
- 48 cups water (12 quarts)
- 15 parsley stems, leaves removed
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
- Place rack in lowest position in oven. Preheat to 500F.
- In batches, roast turkey legs in a large roasting pan for an hour, turning halfway through. Transfer turkey legs to a large stockpot (I had to use 2 stockpots to fit everything).
- Next roast onions, celery, and carrots for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Transfer vegetables to stockpot.
- Deglaze roasting pan by heating on stove and adding 4 cups of water. Add liquid to stockpot(s).
- Add remaining 44 cups of water to stockpot(s), parsley, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Heat over low heat for about 12 hours tasting along the way. When it’s ready, it should have a rich mouthfeel and deep flavor.
- Once you are happy with the flavor, strain the stock, refrigerate, and skim fat off of top.
- Reheat strained and skimmed stock over low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Use refrigerated within a week or freeze for 6 months.