RECIPE: Wild Turkey Stock
If you like to cook, chances are good that a lot of recipes you come across for stews, soups or sauces require some sort of stock. There's nothing wrong with store-bought stock, BUT, the flavor benefit you get from making your own is UNREAL. I'm of the belief that using homemade stock is one of the single greatest thing you can do to elevate your cooking. And beyond the amazing flavor, making stock is a great way to utilize the bones and carcasses of your wild game quarry, or of your store-bought rotisserie chicken! It's also ridiculously easy to make. Trust me, try this recipe once and you'll never discard your animal bones again.
3 to 4 lbs. of wild turkey bones (or any other animal bones, wild or farm raised)
3 stalks of celery, chopped in half
1 carrot, chopped in half
1 large onion, quartered
1 handful of fresh parsley (5-10 sprigs)
1 handful of fresh dill (5-10 sprigs)
1 head of garlic, chopped in half horizontally through all the cloves
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. fennel seeds
2 dried bay leaves (I like Turkish bay leaves)
1 star anise pod
3 tbsp. vinegar (apple cider or white wine work great)
3-3.5 quarts water
*Note: The above ingredients are just a guide. Part of the spirit of stock is using up leftovers, so feel free to use basically whatever you have on hand! I didn't have a carrot for this batch, so I threw in a pepper. Hate garlic? Leave it out then. Making stock is a lot more relaxed than cooking a lot of other things, so experiment and have fun with it!
Thaw out your bones that you've been saving in the freezer. For this batch I used mostly wild turkey bones from the birds my dad and I killed this Spring in New Hampshire. But I didn't quite have enough, so I added some leftover domestic chicken bones. Part of the spirit of making stock is just using up what you have! So I'm never overly-concerned with mixing different animals. Just know that poultry bones vs. large ungulate bones (cow, deer, etc.) will yield very different flavors, so be sure to experiment to know what you like.