A turkey often sits center in a holiday meal and while the leftover white meat makes great turkey sandwiches and the dark meat is a great complement to casseroles and salads, many people discard the turkey carcass itself and miss their opportunity for a great soup. They also miss their chance to benefit from the minerals in the turkey bones themselves — nutrients that are transferred into the broth as it simmers.
Turkey broth makes a rich-tasting and mineral-packed base for soups or sauces that you can then combine with that leftover turkey meat to make another unforgettable meal. A turkey noodle soup would be a slam-dunk just after a big holiday meal, as would a turkey rice casserole with the rice cooked in turkey broth for extra flavor and nutrition.
In your holiday meal clean-up this year, rather than discarding your turkey bones, pull a crock pot out of the cupboard or put a stockpot on your stove and follow these simple steps to make turkey broth:
- Pile the turkey bones into your crock pot or stock pot. (You may have to break down the bones in the chest cavity depending on the size of your pot.)
- Throw in onion, carrot, or celery if you have it.
- Cover the bones with water.
- Add about two tablespoons of vinegar to help the water draw more minerals out of your turkey bones.
- Simmer the bones for 24 hours.
- Strain off the broth to use in your cooking.
- Consider adding fresh water and vinegar to the pot and making a second batch of turkey stock from the same bones.
When using beef bones, we once got twelve batches of gelatin-rich broth from the same batch of bones — read more about that bone broth extravaganza and see the video. Find us on Facebook for our free course on broth and soup-making.
Your first batch of broth will be a full-flavored turkey bone broth that you can use as the base of a satisfying meal. If you make a second batch (or even a third) from the same turkey carcass, the flavor and richness will decline with each batch, but you will still have some benefit of flavor and nutrition. We typically use our second and third batches of turkey broth to cook grains or beans, adding a depth of flavor to those foods and added mineral content as well.
Leverage your holiday meal into an extra meal or two with turkey broth. You may find yourself making broth from all of your left over bones.