Have you ever removed the neck and giblets from a turkey and wondered what in the world to do with them? Most often they get thrown away.
My mom, who could never let anything go to waste, always used the turkey neck and giblets to make a quick pot of broth to use for making gravy or moistening stuffing. And, that's what I do. This broth is so much more flavorful than anything that comes out of a can or box. You can simmer a pot of it while the turkey is in the oven, and it will be ready to use long before the turkey is finished cooking.
I always think of this broth as being virtually free, because I use turkey parts that would otherwise be discarded. And, I normally have leftover herbs, onions, and celery, since those often come in larger quantities than I need for my other recipes for the meal.
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:
Note: I don't add salt to my broth, because I prefer to add salt later when I'm using it in a recipe. That reduces the risk of over salting.
Where the heck is the neck? Normally, you'll find the neck inside the cavity at the tail end of the turkey.
The bag of giblets is usually stuck under the flap of skin that is covering the neck end of the turkey.
Here's what the individual parts look like. (Not very appealing, are they?) Normally a giblet bag has a gizzard, liver, and heart; but this can vary. Once I had a turkey that didn't have a giblet bag at all. This broth recipe is flexible. Just use whatever is included, and your broth will be fine. Even without the giblets, the neck alone made a flavorful broth.
Step 2. To a 1-1/2 to 2 quart pan, add the neck, giblets, herbs, onion, celery, peppercorns, and broth or water.
Step 3. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for at least 1 hour. It's fine to let it simmer longer than that. I normally leave mine on low on the stove top until I need it.
Use now or save for later. The broth can be used right away to flavor gravy or moisten dressing. If you don't need this broth for use in preparing your turkey dinner, save it for making soup later. It can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for months. Or, if you don't want to bother with making broth while you're making the rest of the meal, freeze the raw neck and giblets, and save them to use at a later date.
What to do with the cooked giblets that are leftover? Some people like to make giblet gravy. The cooked giblets can either be chopped or pureed and added to gravy. Personally, I'm not wild about giblet gravy, so I throw them away after I've used them to make the broth.
Making this broth is one of those old school methods that has staying power in my kitchen. It's quick, easy, economical, healthy, and flavorful. That's a win in my book.
Make it a Yummy day!
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