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How-To: Homemade Turkey (or Chicken) Broth

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How-To: Homemade Turkey (or Chicken) Broth

CRAFT: Thanksgiving

By Katie Goodman
Making homemade turkey broth is relatively simple after your Thanksgiving feast. And it tastes absolutely delicious and rich. You can control what’s in it — that means no MSG and lots of flavor — when you make it yourself. This recipe for broth assumes you have already picked off any remaining meat after your Thanksgiving feast. If you haven’t already done that, make sure to do that first. Then, you can use the extra meat to make homemade turkey soup using your homemade broth if you’d like.
If you have a large slow cooker, you can make the broth in that as well. Just allow it to cook on high for 1½ hours, then on low for 4 hours (or more if you’d like).


Turkey carcass or 2-3 whole chicken carcasses
Turkey neck
3 carrots
3 celery ribs with leaves
Large yellow onion, peeled
3 stems thyme
3 bay leaves
Large handful of parsley
2 cloves garlic


Thanksgiving Broth Bones
Step 1: Place the turkey or chicken bones and the neck piece in a large stock pot, 8 quarts or larger. Depending on the size of your turkey it may be necessary to cut the bones up to fit them in. I recommend using a sharp pair of kitchen shears or a metal meat mallet to help break them up.
Thanksgiving Broth Ingredientsinpot
Step 2: Roughly chop the carrots, celery, and onion. Smash the garlic cloves. Add the vegetables, garlic, and herbs to the pot.
Thanksgiving Broth Addwater
Step 3: Fill the pot with water, leaving a few inches of space from the top of the pan to avoid spills.
Step 4: Bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 4-6 hours. Remove from heat and let it cool so you don’t burn yourself while straining the broth.
Thanksgiving Broth Colander
Step 5: Set a colander inside of an extra pot or large bowl. Drain the broth through the colander to remove all the large pieces of vegetables and bones. Discard what the colander catches.
Thanksgiving Broth Finemeshstrain
Step 6: Set a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth (I prefer the strainer) in the empty colander/bowl combo and drain the broth again. This will remove the fine, floating particles so you have a clean broth.
Thanksgiving Broth Freeze
Step 7: To store the broth, I like to freeze portions in muffin tins, then remove the frozen portions and store them in a gallon-size Ziploc freezer bag. You can remove as much or as little as you need at a time. Broth can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Tip: When roasting whole chickens, or purchasing pre-roasted whole chickens, keep the leftover bones in a Ziploc freezer bag in the freezer. When you’ve collected 2-3, use them to make broth.
About the Author:
Katie Goodman resides in New Mexico with her husband and two children (a 4-year-old boy and an 18-month-old girl). Learning in the kitchen, eating, trying new recipes, and sharing them with friends and loved ones are some of Katie’s favorite things to do. She wholeheartedly believes that part of the goodness in life is enjoying good food with good friends and family, and goodLife {eats} is a place for her to share what she finds good in the kitchen.

3 thoughts on “How-To: Homemade Turkey (or Chicken) Broth

  1. Ashley says:

    My parents sent us home with their turkey carcass so (in addition to picking off all of the left over meat!) we followed your recipe for the broth and it turned out great! We put it in a crock pot overnight, and froze it in muffin tins and ice cube trays. Simple as can be. It sure is tasty–thanks for the recipe!

  2. Turkey Soup from Scratch | Adventures of a Middle Age Mom says:

    […] you ever made homemade turkey or chicken stock? It’s not at all difficult to make and the resulting broth is very tasty! If you make a fresh […]

  3. Get Creative with Your Thanksgiving Leftovers | Make: says:

    […] Katie Goodman details the fine art of turning a turkey carcass and trimmings into a rich and delicious soup stock. […]

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