Tuesday, November 29, 2011

homemade stock

I made a little mistake ordering the turkey this year. What I should say is that I made a mistake ordering the turkeys this year. I decided to go easy, and just order bone-in turkey breasts, versus the whole bird. I know, I know. Some of you are fainting at the mere thought of not having the big bird there on display.

This just made a lot more sense, since we all prefer my brined white meat. I didn't think to ask if they were single or double breasts. So, we ended up with 4 plump bone-in breasts. Oops (though the cook in me was secretly thrilled). We enjoyed a fabulous feast on Thanksgiving...some hearty turkey sandwiches picnicking at our local Nature Center the next day, and enjoyed a follow-up meal or two of the whole shebang. But I shredded a bunch of the turkey up and froze it along with both sets of bones, knowing that we'd tire of turkey before too long, and that I'd be inspired to cook again this week.

The urge to cook again came up more quickly than I expected. On Sunday, while my husband hung the outside lights with my dad, and the kids decorated our tree with their Meme, I made my first soup: Mark Bittman's super easy Turkey-Noodle Soup with Fresh Ginger. It was delicious, and fortuitous, since a head cold has had me sidelined the past two days. Nothing better than homemade soup when you're feeling sorry for yourself-- I mean sick.

Anyway, you can certainly make homemade soup with a multitude of good store-bought broths, but there's something special about starting with a homemade stock. So, if you tucked those turkey bones in the freezer last week like I mentioned on the FB page, then haul them out and make a pot with me. As you can see above, my turkey bones went straight from the freezer into the pot...

Homemade Stock

bones from a turkey, chicken or ham
a few stalks of celery
a few carrots
an onion if you have one, skin removed, quartered
a little garlic if you'd like, rough chopped
any fresh herbs you may have on hand
salt to taste
splash of cider vinegar (optional)*

Place the bones in a large pot and fill with water. Add any vegetables or fresh herbs you would like to use to flavor the stock. Bring to a simmer and let it boil until desired level of flavor and thickness. Remove bones. You may also remove the veggies and herbs you used to flavor the broth, or leave them in. Up to you. Proceed as you would with any soup recipe. Stock freezes beautifully so if that's all you feel like cooking today, totally fine. Simply tuck it away in the freezer for a winter day when you want to make homemade soup.

*adding vinegar to your broth helps pull the minerals from the bones, making it even more nutrient-dense 

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