This is it! The big week and there’s only two more sleeps till Thanksgiving. I hope you are ready to tell Thanksgiving who’s boss!
Remember when we talked about freezing the veggie trimmings? Now is a great time to put those veggie end pieces to good use! I honestly can’t think of another day when such copious amounts of stock are used and needed than on Thanksgiving day. Some goes on the turkey, some is used for casseroles, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. You name it and the probability of it needing stock is probably high.
I don’t know about you, but I love using stocks and broths to add flavor to things. As much as I love them, I still think the flavor intensity could stand to be kicked up a bit. I love things with big bang flavor, I am not a subtly girl. And I’m talking store bought stock here, because I’m sure your homemade version has plenty of flavor.
One thing I do on Thanksgiving day is fill a huge pot, one you would make soup or cook pasta in, with lots of chicken broth. And I mean LOTS. I actually don’t care for Turkey stock/broth much but feel free to use that if you prefer.
Once I have it full of the stock, I add in the turkey neck, veggie ends that I saved, garlic, onions, carrots, and plenty of herbs. I let that simmer while I have everything else cooking. I keep the pot on low and let it hang out doing its thing. This bumps up the flavor of the stock/broth while keeping it warm and at the ready for whatever I need it for.
A good bit of my stock goes in the stuffing and adding cold stock to the warm pan of veggies and bread increases the cooking time. Which results in longer prep time getting that stuffing ready. With warm, kicked-up stock, I don’t have to worry about that.
Yes I use drippings for gravy and as much as I love them, I don’t use the whole pan of drippings. I do half and half; half drippings, half simmering stock. This method allows me to use the flavor from the roasted turkey without all the fat of straight drippings.
Planning ahead and knowing that the pot will be on the stove the whole day, means I won’t run out of space. I make a list of what gets cooked when so everything flows smoothly on the big day. If you end up not using the whole pot of stock, no worries. Save some to help reheat leftover gravy and freeze the rest. You can put it in ice cube trays and freeze small portions that way. Or you can measure out the stock by 1 C increments into freezer bags. If you go the freezer bag method, line a measuring cup with the bag, pour in the stock, seal and freeze in the cup. Remove the bag from the cup once the liquid is frozen or close to being frozen. Rinse, repeat until all the stock is separated and frozen.
Put those leftover ends to good use and bump up the flavor on store bought stock or broth. You can always play around with flavors too and add in an apple or maybe a jalapeno. Whatever would compliment your turkey dinner.
In addition, to make things easier, here is a list of the previous Thanksgiving Tuesday Tips:
P.S. Yes, I am aware that stock and broth are two different things, however at OHC the terms are interchangeable.
Just in case you thought I was kidding about printing out a schedule and sticking it on the fridge, I assure you I was not. My current schedule with Thanksgiving menu on the bottom. Plus room for notes and last minute changes.
Happy Thanksgiving from OHC!!! Have a safe and most awesome holiday!