The base for a flavorful soup or gravy is in the stock. Around the holidays when gravy is a staple, it’s nice to have some really good turkey stock or broth standing by. Chicken and beef stock are pretty easy to find ready-made but turkey stock is not so easy to find.
First question. What is the difference between stock and broth? Broth is made with the meat and stock is made with bones as well. What's the point of the bones? They provide great flavor and collagen which makes for a rich texture. I find the easiest and least expensive way to make turkey broth/stock is to buy some turkey necks and wings. They are inexpensive and have several bones. The method for making a stock and a broth is pretty much the same, so however you prefer to do it, it will work.
2 turkey wings and 4 turkey necks (or any combination of turkey parts that is close to that amount) 1 large onion, 2 carrots, & 3 stalks celery roughly chopped handful of fresh parsley 3 fresh sage leaves or 1 tsp dried sage leaves or 1/2 tsp ground sage 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried 2 bay leaves 5 peppercorns
Place the turkey parts in a large pot and cover with COLD water. Place over a high flame. As soon as the water begins to bubble turn the flame down to medium low. It is important that the liquid does not boil. You are looking for the water to barely bubble.
As the water bubbles a white foam will begin to form at the surface. Use a large spoon to skim off this foam and any brown bits. Keep doing this with the pot at a very light simmer until the foam no longer forms, about 20 minutes.
Drop in the onion, carrot, celery and herbs. Cook for 2-6 hours over a low flame with the pot barely bubbling. No need to stir, just check it every so often to be sure it doesn’t boil. It is better to have the flame too low than too high. If the liquid level gets too low, it’s ok to add more water.
Remove the turkey parts. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer. If you are not using it right away, get it cooled down quickly and then into the refrigerator or freezer. To cool down, put it into a metal bowl and place in the sink with ice water.