Homemade Turkey Stock

Happy New Year!
It's good to get back to basics after a wonderfully over-indulgent holiday season. There's no better way to begin healthy cooking in the New Year than with a big stock pot full of simmering turkey stock. This is the base for countless sauces, soups, stews, or just a wholesome, healthy cup of warmth.

I freeze this stock in 2- and 4-cup Ziplock freezer bags for use later. Just fill bags, lat flat on a cookie sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, you can literally "file" them in your freezer.

Homemade Turkey Stock
1 turkey carcass
3 carrots, roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped with skin left on
2 garlic cloves, crushed
12 peppercorns
6 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
handful of fresh herbs -- parsley, thyme, sage, or your favorite(s)
1 t. salt

Place all ingredients in a 12-quart stock pot.
Fill with cool water, about an inch or two from the rim. Place on medium-low heat and slowly bring pot to a simmer. (Slow heating the cool water brings out the most flavors from the stock ingredients.) Simmer for 2-3 hours.

Strain stock through a colander lined with cheesecloth, and let cool. If you have the luxury of leaving the stock outside on a cold night, it is easy to skim the excess fat off the surface in the morning.

Use within a few days or package into 2- or 4-cup Ziplock freezer bags.