Wednesday, December 2

stretching and saving

On Thanksgiving evening, I cleaned all the meat from the turkey and, minus the skin, threw everything in my largest stockpot, along with a carrot and a few onions and several quarts of water, and simmered away while I cleaned up the kitchen and then relaxed with Michael.

Before bed, I poured everything through my stock pot's pasta insert into my very newest favorite large bowl - my 6 quart stainless steel mixing bowl from my business. (Hurrah for bonuses, right?) I then put the bowl in the fridge so that the fat would rise to the top.

Not the next morning, but a couple mornings later, I scooped out the fat and was faced with a giant bowl of turkey stock. I've made chicken stock in the past, and frozen it in a large gallon size bag, but then it's pretty much only good if you're using a LOT of stock, say, for chicken soup. But there are lots of recipes that call for 1 can of broth, so recently I've been freezing it in 2-cup(ish) quantities, and here's how I do it.

Fold a bag inside and out of a glass. I typically use a 2-cup measure-all but mine was dirty so I opted for a clean drinking glass. This bag is a quart size freezer bag. You can certainly reuse the bag when you empty out the stock, but I definitely recommend this size - or larger! The extra room allows for flatter storage in the tiniest of freezers.

Then I scooped in about 2 cups worth. You will notice the texture of this stock is a little wiggly. If that grosses you out, I'm sorry. It's really excellent for your health, and it melts when you heat it up a little bit - turns back to liquid. I used a 2-cup prep bowl but you could either eyeball it or use a measuring cup. I'm just having fun with all my Pampered Chef stuff. Bear with me.

Then, I folded the top up and removed the bag from the glass. Then, I squeezed out the air by folding the top like so, and labeled the bag while it was like that. I like to know which broth is turkey and which is chicken - sometimes I label it with the date, but I use a lot of broth in recipes and so I have not found that necessary.

After labeling, you can seal the bag and lay it flat. Then repeat and stack the bags on top of one another. I can easily fit 8-12 bags in one stack under the shelf in my above-the-fridge freezer. These can be thawed in the fridge or quickly under running water. You can also just take them out of the package frozen and put them in the pan for soup.

I haven't decided what I like best - saving money or knowing what is in my broth.


Rosemary said...

I love 'turkey carcass' soup -although my son Steve laughs at that name ... he says it sounds like some kind of road kill :)
The freezer bag seems to fit better over a glass than a measuring cup. (I usually use a measuring cup too.) I will remember that trick! 'Necessity is the mother of invention' - so is not having all the dishes done up :) Enjoy your 'turkey stock' stockpile.

suzanne said...

I do Chicken broth all the time. I NEVER buy it anymore. I have not done Turkey, though! I never even thought of it!

Shelley said...

Nice idea. Thanks for sharing.

Erin Neiner said...

that's awesome. I also did the same thing with the carnage but I just read this tip...freeze the stock in a muffin tin. I have a texas size muffin tin so I got some huge portions and then some normal size ones also. when the pan is frozen just set in a pan of warm water for a minute and they pop right out. btw, broth is reeeally good for digestion. something our russian friends do a lot of---after meals. :)

Alicia said...

Great idea! Should have done that with my turkey carcass but I was ailing from stomach flu. SO smart of you to freeze it in smaller portions.

KColas said...

Great idea, Jenny. I've tried doing stock a few times and haven't quite succeeded...but I'm determined to learn. Thanks for the tips, and esp. the pics. Great stuff!

Amanda said...

smart girl I will use a cup to hold my baggy next time!