The holiday season is filled with turkeys. The grocery stores fill their freezers and schools have Turkey Trots and accept donations of the frozen birds for families in need. Turkeys are just a staple in the winter holiday months. And while we often think about the meat being the primary component that we consume, we often overlook the nutrient-rich broth that we can get form the leftover scraps.
This recipe can actually be used with turkeys or chickens, and you really should be making broth anytime you have a leftover poultry carcass. The benefit in doing this is two-fold:
- You’ll be extracting all the nutrients from the bones into a flavorful, nutrient-dense broth.
- You’ll be utilizing all of the bird. If you are lucky enough to have the feet, throw them in, because they make an even better broth.
With the amount of food waste in many societies and cultures today, it’s important to use all of what we have. While there are many commercially available broths available, the satisfaction of making your own from food that is already in your kitchen that would otherwise go to waste is a very empowering thing.
I actually run the carcass through the Instant Pot twice in order to double the amount of broth I can get from just one turkey. The second batch is slightly less potent but just as delicious. In the photo above, the jar in the front has the “second batch” broth. Not as dark as the 2 in the back, but you can still tell just how much flavor is in there.
I prefer to make my broth unsalted, so when it comes time to use it, I can salt it to my preference depending on what I’m using it for. And just what do you use this turkey broth for? I’m glad you asked. Here are our favorite uses:
- 1 Leftover Turkey Carcass
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
- 3 sprigs Fresh Sage
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Chop the onion into large chunks. We like to use the onions and herbs that were stuffed in the turkey because it removes a step in this recipe.
- Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot (the 8qt is the best size, but use what you've got). If the carcass is too large, cut it into smaller pieces so it will fit. Cover completely with water to just below the max-fill line (this is about 10 cups in the 8qt).
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set to "Sealing". Press the "Soup" button or press "Manual" and let run on high pressure for 30 minutes. Quick release the pressure and remove the lid (carefully, facing away from you to leep any steam off your face). Remove the large pieces of the carcass and set aside in a bowl.
- The easiest way to get the broth into a jar is to place a small metal strainer in a wide-mouth funnel that is placed in the jar opening. Ladle the broth directly from the Instant Pot into the strainer and it will catch the herbs and onions for you. When the pot gets low enough, you can lift it out with pot holders and pour it directly into the strainer-topped jars.
- Place the lids on the jars and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you won't go through it that fast (though we typically do), pour the broth into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, store the broth cubes in a zip-top bag, press out all the air, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Double Your Quantity
- To get even more bang for your buck, put the carcass, onions, an herbs back in the Instant Pot, refill with water back to the max-fill line, and run on high pressure for 60 minutes. This second batch will be a little bit more diluted than the first batch but still makes a great base for soups, gravy, or just sipping on a cold day.
- Cook Time does not include the time it takes the Instant Pot to get up to pressure, usually 10-15 minutes at most.