The Easiest Turkey-Chicken Stock You’ll Ever Make

An easy method of making turkey-chicken stock with minimal effort and very little waste #stock #turkey #chicken #broth @mjskitchen

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How to make a pot of turkey-chicken stock is something that many of us learned from our mothers. My mother taught me that you never, never, never throw out the carcass or any of the inedible parts of poultry before you cook them down into a tasty stock.  All in all making stock is a very simple process and yields a stock so much better than anything you can purchase.

Through the years, my stock “recipe” has evolved into a very simple process with hardly no waste.  I used to add vegetables and herbs, only to toss them out with the bones. Now I add four ingredients to the bones – peppercorns, garlic, salt, and water. That’s it.  Minimal prep, simple process, and amazing results.  Because of the pure flavor of this simple stock, it can be used in many, many ways. You’ll find yourself running out of it very quickly.

Be sure to see the Kitchen Notes for more on how to collect and save the bones for a batch of stock, how to store the stock and how to use it.

NOTE:  The stock in the pictures is darker than usual because it was made using the bones from a smoked turkey.  Much of the blackened, smoked skin was added to the stock giving it that beautiful color and a very smoky, rich flavor.  The day after making this stock I made a green chile posole using some of the smoked stock and leftover smoked turkey – a very, very tasty posole’indeed.

An Easy Method for Making Chicken/Turkey Stock

An easy method of making turkey-chicken stock with minimal effort and very little waste #stock #turkey #chicken #broth @mjskitchen

An easy method of making turkey/chicken stock with minimal effort and very little waste #stock #turkey #chicken #broth @mjskitchen
Print or Save Recipe
Turkey-Chicken Stock Process
20 mins
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 20 mins

This process for making chicken stock is so simple and yields a minimum amount of waste without sacrificing flavor.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Condiments, soups & stews
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • Carcass, bones and skin from 1 turkey or 2 to 3 chickens*
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and smashed (no need to peel)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Water
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a large stock pot.

  2. Add enough water to completely cover the carcass and bones and then some.
  3. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce to a slow simmer.
    An easy method of making turkey/chicken stock with minimal effort and very little waste @mjskitchen
  4. Simmer, without stirring, for 2 to 3 hours. A longer simmer results in a more concentrated stock due to evaporation.

  5. Remove from heat and let cool enough to handle.
  6. Place strainer over a large bowl. Line the strainer with a paper towel or cheesecloth.
  7. Ladle the stock into the strainer. Keep an eye on the bowl and as it starts to fill, transfer the stock to freezer containers*.
  8. Much of the fat from the stock is collected in the paper towel; therefore, it will need to be replaced a couple of times during the straining process.
  9. Discard paper towels and stock ingredients.
  10. Let the stock come to room temperature in the freezer containers. Place the lids on the containers and label with content and date.
  11. Place in the freezer and use throughout the year*.
*See Kitchen Notes for more information about making and storing homemade stock, as well as how to remove any remaining fat.
Kitchen Notes

Amount of bones – Since making the stock and cleaning up afterwards takes a good 4 to 5 hours, I like to accumulated enough bones/carcasses that will fit in a large stock pot. One pot of stock usually makes about a gallon and lasts me anywhere from 1- 3 months, depending on the weather. (In the winter, it goes fast!)  One turkey carcass with leg and wing bones, excess skin and giblets are usually enough bones for a nice pot of stock.  However, I normally wait until I have 2 – 3 chicken carcasses.  Also, don’t hesitate to use both turkey and chicken bones in one batch.


The amount of bones and water will determine how much stock you end up with.


Cooked or uncooked – Both.  When we butterfly a chicken, I’ll freeze the giblets and backbone.  Once we finish off the cooked chicken, the carcass is added to the bag and frozen until I’m ready to make a stock.


Freezer containers – Since you’ll be using this stock for everything from making rice to using as a soup base, you may need different size containers.  Use a variety of container sizes for different purposes.  Glass jars can be used, but be sure to leave enough air space at the top to allow the liquid to expand during the freezing process.


Removing the fat – As mentioned in the recipe, the paper towels do remove quite a bit of the fat.  However, you may be left with a thin layer on top of the stock once you transfer it to the containers.  There are a couple of ways to remove this excess fat if you don't want it.

  • Refrigerate the containers overnight to congeal the fat.  Use a spoon to remove the fat and discard before placing the containers in the freezer.
  • Freeze the containers with the fat.  When ready to use the stock, remove the congealed fat as the stock begins to thaw.
  • When using the stock for stews and soups, just add the fat in with the stock.  There is so little of it, that it won’t make the soup greasy, but will add flavor.


To defrost the stock - put it in the microwave on half power, run it under hot water or just set it on the counter for a couple of hours.  If it’s possible that you would use the microwave, be sure that any plastic containers you use are microwave safe.


An easy method of making turkey-chicken stock with minimal effort and very little waste.


Uses for turkey-chicken stock


Our Happy Thanksgiving Surprise

Elizabeth Faith - 36 hours old, 9 pounds 14 ounces, 21.25" long

We had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The day before Thanksgiving our niece gave birth to this beautiful little girl – 9 pounds, 14 ounces, 21.25″ long.  Mother and baby are healthy and the whole family was able to join us on Thanksgiving Day.



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34 Responses to “The Easiest Turkey-Chicken Stock You’ll Ever Make”

  1. Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina December 19, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

    I’ve always made chicken stock, but realize what a great idea it is now to make turkey stock and not waste so much turkey bones and left-overs! Great idea, thank you, M.J.!

    • mj December 21, 2016 at 9:55 am #

      The difference between chicken and turkey stock is that you might need a bigger pot. 🙂 Thanks Roz!

  2. swathi December 12, 2016 at 6:10 pm #

    Homemade is always best Mj looks very nice, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop. pinning and tweeting.

    • mj December 13, 2016 at 9:15 am #

      You are most welcome Swathi! And thanks for the shares!

  3. April J Harris December 12, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Congratulations on the newest member of your family, MJ! What a lovely Thanksgiving surprise for you all. Thank you for sharing your Turkey-Chicken Stock with us at Hearth and Soul. The recipe is much easier than so many others I have seen and your stock looks so rich and delicious. Sharing on our Hearth and Soul Facebook page and tweeting later today.

    • mj December 13, 2016 at 9:15 am #

      Thanks so much April. She really the meaning into Thanksgiving this year. Thanks for all the share of my turkey stock!

  4. Sissi December 7, 2016 at 5:16 am #

    I’m always so curious about other cooks’ chicken stock! Yours is of course (like everything you do!) so unusual and the smoked bones must yield such a fantastic taste! I haven’t bought chicken stock in any form (powdered or canned) for at least 8 years and always have several portions in the freezer. I’m always happy to see a friend who does the same! (Sometimes, when I lack space in the freezer I reduce the stock, put into smaller containers and then dilute it when I use it).

    • mj December 7, 2016 at 10:10 am #

      We are definitely twins in the kitchen!!! I do the same thing…when the freezer start filling up, I reduce the stock and freeze small containers of concentrated stock. I didn’t do it with this stock because I actually had a little freezer space. Of course that’s gone now. 🙂 Thanks my friend!!!

  5. Evelyne CulturEatz December 6, 2016 at 9:50 am #

    Congrats to your niece! And lovely stock, got to try it next time minus all the extra veggie fuff.

    • mj December 7, 2016 at 10:01 am #

      Thanks Evelyne! She’s a cutie! In reference to the stock, I’d rather add my veggies to the soup so I can eat them rather than throw them away. 🙂

  6. Katerina December 6, 2016 at 4:41 am #

    Homemade chicken stock is priceless! I love the idea of the smoked turkey to jazz things up! Pinned!

    • mj December 7, 2016 at 9:57 am #

      Thanks Katerina! The smoked carcass really changed the flavor in a really good way. 🙂

  7. Helene D'Souza December 6, 2016 at 12:02 am #

    when I got to the end of the post I got shocked by the picture. LOL I thought I saw a turkey first. Gorgeous girl, congratulations! 😀
    A good homemade stock is an essential! I agree, you need to use all the bones and chicken legs and whatever leftover of a poultry to make a flavorful healthy stock. The key is to boil the bones so that the nutritious elements come out into the stock.

    • mj December 7, 2016 at 9:56 am #

      LOL!!! She isn’t much bigger than the turkey we bought. 🙂 Thank you! She’s such a darlin!
      I love seeing the bones almost fall apart after the stock has cooked down. I can just drink this stuff. 🙂

  8. Hotly Spiced December 3, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

    Congratulations on the new addition to your family – what a beautiful girl and she certainly was a good size! Your mother taught you well – it’s good not to be wasteful and making your own stock is so rewarding. I love the colour of your darker stock. I usually add vegetables but I’m going to try your recipe this year xx

    • mj December 3, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

      Thanks so much Charlie!! Homemade stock IS very rewarding, for sure! Hope you are doing well.

  9. Bam's Kitchen December 2, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    That is some gorgeous clear and beautiful turkey broth. Now that I finally have a slow cooker this recipe will be a breeze. Congrats to the new addition to your family. What a cutie!

    • mj December 3, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

      Thanks so much Bobbi! She’s a cutie. 🙂 Congratulations on getting a slow cooker. Enjoy!

  10. Amy (Savory Moments) December 2, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

    I love homemade stock. This looks really nice — good color!

    • mj December 3, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

      Thanks Amy!

  11. Deb|EastofEdenCooking November 29, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

    Homemade stock is one one the best things to have on hand! Your simplifications are a breath of fresh air, easy yet flavorful. A great recipe MJ!

    • mj November 29, 2016 at 8:05 pm #

      Thanks Deb! It took me a few years, but the simplicity of this process really yields my favorite tasting stock.

  12. Angie@Angie's Recipes November 29, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

    Homemade stock is definitely worth all the patience and time. And congratulations on the new family member, MJ.

    • mj November 29, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

      Thank you so much Angie! She’s a cutie. 🙂

  13. A_Boleyn November 29, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    Gorgeous colour on your stock and it’s so clear. In spite of really trying to keep it under a boil this year, I ended up with a cloudy turkey stock again. It was tasty though. 🙂

    • mj November 29, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

      Thanks so much A_B! I have found that a lot of the cloudiness can be eliminated by straining through a paper towel.

  14. John/Kitchen Riffs November 29, 2016 at 11:33 am #

    Homemade stock is the best! Just made a big batch of turkey stock yesterday, as a matter of fact. 🙂 I always add onion, but go back and forth on adding celery. I sometimes make Asian-style stock using both garlic and ginger — very tasty. Anyway, great post — making stock is so easy, isn’t it? And SO good! 🙂

    • mj November 29, 2016 at 7:52 pm #

      Yes, it is!!! The Asian style stock sounds good too! I’ll have to try it some time. Thanks John!

  15. Adina November 29, 2016 at 10:28 am #

    Good stock is the most important thing in cooking for me. I make it all the time and I always keep the bones from all my roasted birds to make stock, I just freeze them until I have enough to make a large batch. I have never made the stock without veggies though, it sounds good and I would have less work to do.

    • mj November 29, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

      Thanks Adina! Yes, this is the lazy cook’s stock, but I love it because it’s “just stock”.

  16. Abbe@This is How I Cook November 29, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    What a great surprise! And what a great stock. Love the simplicity of it. This year we weren’t in charge of Turkey but if we are we always smoke it. Usually I keep the carcass with good intentions, but next time you have given me no choice!

    • mj November 29, 2016 at 7:48 pm #

      Smoked stock in the best! Bobby has started smoking all of his turkeys, and I see it continuing. Hope so anyway. 🙂 I’ll be ready for another soon. 🙂

  17. Judy @SavoringToday November 29, 2016 at 7:37 am #

    Homemade stock is like gold! Like you, I am always collecting chicken backs and various bones until I can get a good sized pot going. Love the idea of using smoked turkey too — so good, and so good for you! 🙂

    • mj November 29, 2016 at 7:45 pm #

      Totally agree Judy! A smoked turkey or chicken carcass really makes an awesome tasty stock. Hope you get a smoked turkey soon to try it.

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