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Take stock of all of turkey’s goodness

If you have a turkey carcass in your refrigerator today (and who doesn’t?), you’re going to want to get all the goodness you can from it. Right? So, let’s make a rich stock. But can we say frame instead of carcass? Because I don’t think the word carcass is remotely appetizing.

Why make stock? Because homemade is simply better than store-bought. It tastes better, it’s easy to make and it costs next to nothing. And it’s healthier. Homemade stock doesn’t contain any MSG or additives, and you control the sodium.

What’s the difference between stock and bone broth? Although often used interchangeably, there is a difference: mainly, the ingredients and cook time. Stock is made from animal bones and aromatic vegetables (onion, carrot and celery) and cooked for two to six hours. It’s thin, unseasoned and used for sauces, gravies, soup and other recipes.

Bone broth is like stock but made more viscous because it’s simmered for 24 to 48 hours and other ingredients can be added like garlic, ginger and pepper for flavor and health benefits.

You’ll notice after making bone broth, the bones become extremely brittle. That’s because the long simmer has extracted nutrients from the bones, like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, fluoride and other trace minerals that help our bones grow and repair.

The cartilage, ligaments and tendons are made of proteins called collagen and gelatin that give the broth protein and are healing to the lining of the digestive tract preventing leaky gut, and they’re great for the skin. Plus, its chock-full of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are beneficial to reducing joint inflammation. A touch of vinegar helps extract all those nutrients.

This nutrient dense broth is liquid gold.

Pat yourself on the back for using the whole bird, respecting your turkey, and making homemade healthy goodness for you and yours. Happy Thanksgiving!

TURKEY BROTH

What you’ll need:

1 turkey frame

1-2 onions, quartered with skin

2-3 carrots, scrubbed, roughly chopped

2-3 stalks celery with leaves, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2-4 whole cloves garlic, smashed, optional

Pinch red pepper flakes, optional

Herbs: parsley, thyme, rosemary, optional

2 inches ginger root, optional

10 to 14 cups cold water

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Here’s how:

Place frame, onion, carrot, celery, peppercorns and optional ingredients as desired in a large stockpot. Add water to cover by 1 inch; add vinegar. Bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat. Partially cover the pot with the lid and gently simmer the stock as low as possible, skimming foam as needed, for 4 hours or longer. Allow the stock to cool.

Strain and discard solids. For safety’s sake, cool the stock quickly and refrigerate as soon as possible. Use a skimmer to remove the fat on the surface of the stock. The stock can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen up to three months.

To make bone broth:Extend the simmer time to 24 hours.

Cloudy vs. clear. What makes stock cloudy? It’s an emulsification of the fats and protein in the water caused by boiling and stirring. It boils down to this: Don’t boil the stock. Bring the water to a boil at the beginning and then cook at barely a simmer for the rest of the cooking time. But there’s nothing wrong with cloudy stock.

Diva tips: To maintain a steady, even heat you can cook the stock in a 180-200 F oven or slow cooker on low. Don’t add salt because the stock will reduce and intensify the saltiness. You may find homemade stock has so much flavor it doesn’t need salt at all.

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is a recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com.

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