This is the simplest way I know to make a rich turkey stock, utilizing the turkey neck, tail, gizzard, and heart found inside of the neck cavity of the turkey. (I never use the liver, also found in the packet of giblets, for making stock, because it gives the stock a bitter flavor. Sometimes, I cook the liver separately, chop it, and add it to my stuffing, or I serve it in small quantities to a four-legged friend.
To make a bigger batch of stock that you can cook well in advance of the holidays and freeze, use approximately 5 pounds of turkey wings, thighs, or drumsticks in place of the giblets and turkey neck listed in this recipe and double the quantities of the rest of the ingredients. Brown the turkey parts in a roasting pan in a preheated 400°F oven for 1 1/2 hours, then transfer them to a stockpot and proceed with the recipe, starting after the browning step.
Makes about 3 cups
2 tablespoons canola oil
Turkey neck, tail, gizzard, and heart
1 yellow onion root end trimmed but peel left intact, quartered
1 large carrot scrubbed but not peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 large rib celery including leafy tops, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs resh parsley
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
5 cups cold water
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the turkey neck, tail, gizzard, and heart and sauté until browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, chicken broth, and water to the pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Skim any brown foam that rises to the top. Simmer the stock until it reduces by half, about 1 hour. Pour the stock through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl or 4-cup glass measure. Set aside the neck, gizzard, and heart until cool enough to handle. Discard the rest of the solids. Let the stock cool completely. Skim off any fat that rises to the top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (When you’re ready to make gravy, skim the fat from the top of the stock again, if necessary.)
If making giblet gravy, shred the meat from the neck and finely dice the gizzard and heart. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use. (Some cooks prefer to make a smooth gravy and add the diced gizzard and heart to their stuff.