It's the 'secret weapon,' says author of new guide to holiday cooking
Stock up: Make sure you have plenty of turkey stock on hand for Thanksgiving, writes author Sam Sifton. It's crucial for everything from pre-feast prep to warming up the leftovers. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
2 turkey drumsticks
2 turkey wings
2 large Spanish onions, peeled, cut in half
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into large pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into large pieces
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
1. Place turkey parts in a large baking dish; cook in a 400-degree oven until they are golden, with the skin beginning to separate from the end of the drumsticks, about 30 minutes.
2. Transfer turkey parts and all accumulated fat and juices to a large stockpot. Cover turkey with water; heat to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover and simmer for as long as you can manage, even overnight.
3. Add the vegetables, bay leaves, thyme and pepper; cook, 1 hour; strain stock into a clean container. Cover and place in refrigerator. When cool, pull off the layer of fat on top; discard. Keeps three to four days refrigerated, or freeze and thaw before using. Reheat on Thanksgiving morning and use all day.
Take what remains of your bird and break it up so that it can fit into a large stockpot. Add 3 ribs roughly chopped celery and a large Spanish onion cut into quarters. Cover with water. Heat to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cook, barely stirring, at least 4 hours, or overnight. In time the bones will release their marrow and roasted flavor, imparting to the stock a dark and incomparable heartiness.