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Old 11-29-2011, 11:26 AM   #1
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Turkey Stock Making/Question

The carcass of my 19-lb. T-giving bird is too large for my biggest stockpot...OK when making stock if carcass is sticking up out of the water? Does this make for bacteria hazard? Tried to cut carcass up but it was too hard, even with my cleaver, which probably needs sharpening Thank you!

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Old 11-29-2011, 11:41 AM   #2
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The bones should all be under water to extract flavors.

I break up the carcass so it will fit. Legs, thighs and wings are probably already off the body. you should try to do two more things. First separate the backbone from the ribs. Then try to break up the ribcage or at least flatten it.

Stand the carcass on a work surface with the backbone facing up and lean on it to push it into the cavity. It will separate with some effort. You could also use your cleaver to attack the junction of the ribs to the backbone.

If all else fails, put the carcass into a heavy plastic bag and stomp on it to break it up.
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girl49 View Post
Tried to cut carcass up but it was too hard, even with my cleaver, which probably needs sharpening
Smack it with a hammer!
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:02 PM   #4
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Uh Oh...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
The bones should all be under water to extract flavors. If all else fails, put the carcass into a heavy plastic bag and stomp on it to break it up.
Andy: Too late!! In my enthusiasm, I put bird in stockpot before posting my question. By time I read your (gracious and thorough) response, water was near boiling. Tried to take turkey out and almost dropped it (this has been a challenging day so far on many fronts...am even struggling with my coffee and oatmeal).

Any germ hazard if part of carcass sticking out of water? Will whole carcass shrink during simmering, so I might be able to push it all under the water? Sheesh. And is it right that I want to simmer, not boil, liquid -- to keep fat from emulsifying?
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:14 PM   #5
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Once I get a boil I reduce to a simmer.

The carcass never seems to shrink for me, I have had the whole mass expand (chicken feet puff big time).
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:26 PM   #6
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Not safety issues. Cover the pot and the temp inside will be in the safe range. After it's simmered for a couple of hours, try to push it down. The bones may break easier. Be very careful not to get simmering water all over you or to knock the pot off the stove.
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:37 PM   #7
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Things Looking Up

Success! Bones getting softer and I was able to push most of carcass under water. Pot covered. Will very gently simmer for another few hours.

Should finished broth be clear rather than cloudy if simmered and not boiled? Good to strain it through cheesecloth or mesh strainer, and then skim off fat once it's chilled?

Thanks, all, for the stock primer. Wish I could change my title from "assistant cook" to "skullery apprentice."
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girl49 View Post
Success! Bones getting softer and I was able to push most of carcass under water. Pot covered. Will very gently simmer for another few hours.

Should finished broth be clear rather than cloudy if simmered and not boiled? Good to strain it through cheesecloth or mesh strainer, and then skim off fat once it's chilled?

Thanks, all, for the stock primer. Wish I could change my title from "assistant cook" to "skullery apprentice."
It's going to be cloudy. Lots of particulates in the water. Strain it through a seive at a minimum. I use several layer of cheesecloth.

If you want, reduce some to concentrate the flavor. Store the chilled and defatted stock in ziplock bags.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:03 PM   #9
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from Andy :
Quote:
If all else fails, put the carcass into a heavy plastic bag and stomp on it to break it up.
Running over it in the driveway would work too.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
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I just use kitchen shears to separate front from back at the ribs. Breaking the back into two is the hard part, but I usually can do it by hand or cram it in whole.

If you have some long handled tongs, it might help. That's what I would use if it was already boiling, removing the larger pieces to my cutting board for more surgery. The tongs are also good for turning the pieces to insure even cooking.

I love your idea, Kayelle!
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