Have you ever made turkey bone broth? Like many Americans, after cutting all the meat off our Thanksgiving turkey, we used to throw the bones in the trash. It breaks my heart now to think of all the lost cups of bone broth that we didn’t have through the years.
However, as the saying goes, you’re smart if you learn from your mistakes, but you’re wise if you learn from someone else’s. You can learn from my mistake and make a pot of turkey bone broth after Thanksgiving this year. In addition to being delicious, bone broth is also healthy. It contains collagen, glutamine, calcium, and other minerals.
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How to make bone broth
Making bone broth is one of the simplest things you can do in the kitchen. Simply put the bones in a pot, cover with water, and cook over low heat for 24 hours. I prefer to use my slow cooker if I’m going to cook it overnight, but you could do this on your stove if you’ll be in the kitchen during the day to keep an eye on it.
You can sprinkle a teaspoon of salt into the water, and you can also add a chopped onion, a couple of sliced celery stalks, and a few sliced carrots, if you want. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t. It’s all about variety for me. If I’m in a rush, I might add a teaspoon of garlic or onion powder instead of chopping up vegetables.
Strain the broth through a fine sieve before using or storing it to remove the meat, vegetables, and bones. The meat and vegetables have given up all their flavor and nutrients to the broth, so they actually don’t taste good after cooking for so long. You also want to separate out any tiny bones that could cause choking or tooth damage.
The difference between stock and bone broth
Stock happens when you cook meat, bones, and/or vegetables for a few hours. You can make a stock without any bones at all. Stock is used a flavorful liquid in cooking.
Bone broth happens when you cook bones with any attached meat and fat for closer to 24 hours, which releases more of the nutrients from the bones. It can also be used as a flavorful liquid in cooking.
Drinking turkey bone broth
A cup of warm bone broth is a delicious and healthy way to start your day. Might sound weird, but once you’ve done it, it may quickly become a part of your morning ritual. It warms you up like a cup of coffee or tea, and it’s nutritious.
I like to buy different types of coffee, and I have about two dozen different types of tea in my cupboard. So it should come as no surprise that I like to drink different types of bone broth in the morning — turkey, duck, chicken, and beef. They all have their own unique flavor.
Using bone broth
You can also use bone broth as a natural flavoring. Cook rice or quinoa in bone broth instead of plain water. Cooking lentils in bone broth takes them to a whole new level of deliciousness. In fact, if you don’t like lentils cooked in water, you should try them cooked in bone broth.
Making bone broth gravy
To make gravy with bone broth, spoon off the fat that rises to the top. Put it in a saucepan and add an equal amount of wheat, oat, or rice flour. Heat over medium-high heat and whisk until all lumps are dissolved. Then add 1/4 cup of broth for every 2 tablespoons of fat that you used.
Storing bone broth
Bone broth should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. If you don’t think you’ll use all of your broth within a couple of weeks, you can freeze it in glass canning jars that are labeled freezer-safe.
Originally published November 23, 2016. Updated December 17, 2023.