Roasted Poultry Stock

by Erin

Save your leftover turkey bones and innards this Thanksgiving and make your own poultry stock to use in your favorite comfort soups and stews during cold month.

Roasted Poultry Stock 1

When you think of pets, certain toys are associated with cats and dogs. For cats it’s little balls with bells in them, catnip-stuffed animals, and string or wands with a string and a little object on the end. For dogs it’s balls, ropes, bones, kongs, and stuffed animals. While my cat enjoys his share of stringed and jingly things his favorite toys are a fuzzy kong octopus and a tennis ball. He loves rolling on his side/back while hugging either of those objects with his font paws, kicking at it with his back paws, and biting it (it’s obscenely adorable btw but he moves too fast to get pictures). I’m beginning to wonder if he doesn’t think he is a dog. He did spend the first 2 years of his life living with my roommate at the time’s two toy fox terriers. I used to think that he got along so well with them because he thought they were cats, but maybe he thinks he is a small dog? He is awfully needy and by my side at all times. Who knows, he is cute and he is mine.

Anyway, I rambled on about that much longer than I had intended. Originally I had planned on just saying “Hey guess what? My cat’s favorite toy is a tennis ball.” and leave it at that, but apparently I had much more to say on the subject. Unfortunately Thankfully it has absolutely nothing to do with today’s recipe.

Roasted Poultry Stock 2

After you gut your turkey next Thursday, cut out its spine (if spatchcocking), and then cook and devour it leaving the bones behind – don’t throw it out! You have some quality ingredients on your hands. I know all that stuff looks gross but I promise, just throw it all in a pot of water with some roasted vegetables and herbs. Not only will your house continue to smell like thanksgiving dinner, you’ll also be on your way to some easy, homemade poultry stock. Then you can use it to make leftover turkey soup, or any of those other cozy fall/winter soups and stews I know you are planning to make in order to survive the cold weather. (Which by the way, my friends in upstate NY got pounded with some serious snow this week. I kind of miss it… and then I don’t.)

Some of my favorite comfort soups that I will make with the stock:

Roasted Poultry Stock 3

One year ago: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup (2013)

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Marshmallows

Four years ago: Buckeye Candies


Makes 3 quarts (12 cups)


5 lb. leftover turkey or chicken bones, wings, neck, and back (if spatchcocked)

Roasted vegetables and drippings from bottom of roasting pan*

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

16 cups water


  1. Place turkey parts, vegetables, thyme, and bay leaves in a large stock pot. Pour water into the roasting pan, scrape up any leftover bits, and add to the stock pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until deep golden brown and reduced to about 12 cups, about 1-1/2 hours.
  2. Strain into a large bowl and let cool. Skim off fat layer if desired, pour into freezer-safe containers and chill in refrigerator, or freeze for later.

*If you do not have roasted vegetables from cooking the poultry, drizzle olive oil over a quartered onion, 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery ribs, and roast at 450 degrees for 45 minutes.

Source: Adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2014.


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[…] the frigid months so it’s really an all year round soup. Made even better with homemade chicken stock, but you could also use homemade vegetable broth and chickpeas instead of chicken for a vegan […]

Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction November 21, 2014 - 1:15 pm

Love homemade stock! I bet the added flavor that using roasted vegetables gives it is amazing!

ForTheLoveOfBaking November 20, 2014 - 3:11 pm

Great recipe! I like to re-roast all the leftover bones, neck, etc. with an extra onion (quartered, unpeeled) until they are good and brown before making my stock. That makes it…I don’t know how to explain it…it’s just more “goldeny” and richer. I also learned one year that when you let it get to a hard (rolling) boil, you’ll wind up with cloudy stock. It tastes fine, it’s just not quite as pretty. Now I stand and watch it (ocd, much?) until it just barely simmers and then turn it to low for a few hours. Thanks for the post! :-)

spiffycookie November 20, 2014 - 10:33 pm

I wonder if keeping the boil down prevents the marrow from seeping out of the bones, therefore keeping in clear? I did set mine over a low simmer but who knows. It still tastes good!

CakeSpy November 20, 2014 - 1:39 pm

Very timely, since there’s a holiday coming up very soon where I might have some poultry around! :-)

spiffycookie November 20, 2014 - 2:04 pm

Funny how that happens. It’s like I knew it was coming. I’m magic.

Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes) November 20, 2014 - 9:46 am

There is nothing better than homemade stock!!!


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