Best Turkey Broth or Chicken Broth

Best Turkey Broth or Chicken Broth


  • 1 turkey or chicken carcass, break into pieces to fit pot
  • water to cover by 2 inches
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 1 large carrot, broken
  • 1 stalk celery, in pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 cups dry white wine or two tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 5 sprigs parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram (sub in dried thyme if you must) for turkey stock, 1/2 as much for the chicken stock


Bring all ingredients except parsley & marjoram to a boil in a 12-quart stockpot over medium-high heat, then immediately turn down to a bare simmer. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for at least two to three hours and up to six or longer; for the right simmer, look for a few bubbles to slowly rise to the surface every now and then.

If you have used the vegetable trimmings (see note) instead of or in addition to whole veggies, there will be no need to skim the broth. If not, skim any foam as it rises to the surface.

If there is a lot of meat left on the carcass, pull bones out as soon as the meat has softened enough to easily remove from the bones, usually about 45 minutes to an hour into the cooking process. Remove the meat and refrigerate it. Replace the bones and continue to simmer.

Add parsley and marjoram about at about two hours before you plan to stop cooking then continue to simmer till stock is rich and flavorful, about 2 hours longer. When finished, strain stock. Cool stock about 20 minutes, skim fat from surface or divide up into containers and cool, then skim fat after it has hardened on the surface.

Use as a base for soup or portion and freeze.


  • There is no salt in this broth, add to taste when finished.
  • Using vegetable trimmings: save up the trimmings from any carrots, celery, and onion (skins and all) and use them to make a “raft” across the top of the soup. They will naturally clarify the soup.
  • Watch the soup for liquid level, especially when simmering a long time.
  • Safety: If you make large amounts of stock, cool it quickly by putting in smaller containers in the fridge, uncovered, until chilled. Metal bowls help the heat dissipates faster.
  • Broth keeps well for about three to four days. If you haven’t used it or frozen it by then and it still seems fresh, bring it to a rolling boil before using.

Keywords: Chicken, Chicken Stock, Cook's Illustrated, Freezes Well, leftover Chicken, leftover vegetables, Leftovers, Soup, Turkey, Turkey Leftovers

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