The Easiest Way to Make Beautiful, Flawless Turkey Stock

The Easiest Way to Make Beautiful, Flawless Turkey Stock
Photo: Nancy Salmon, Shutterstock

If you’re haven’t started on your holiday dinner prep yet, making turkey stock is a good place to start. It’s low-effort, and it fills your home with a beautiful aroma that hints at the gravy to come. But then you open the pressure cooker, and it looks…less than great. Have you ever wondered why you could whisk your otherwise perfect gravy for 20 minutes and it’s still lumpy?

Photo: Sam Bithoney Photo: Sam Bithoney

Meet: the lumps. Meat doesn’t dissolve well in water, and by pulling these remnants out of your stock, you’ll finally achieve that lump-free gravy, along with clearer soups and velvety smooth sauces.

There’s a lot of stuff in there, and even filtering it through a sieve or fat separator is going to result in some bits making their way through. But never fear, my friends, because there’s a secret weapon for beautiful stocks: The nut milk bag.

Photo: Sam Bithoney Photo: Sam Bithoney

Though it’s primarily used for DIYing alt milks, it’s essentially nylon cheesecloth with a drawstring. It’s inexpensive — multi-packs are available for under $US10 (A$14) — and maybe most importantly, it’s dishwasher safe. And while I’d still use a cheesecloth for anything going through long cooking, like a bouquet garni, a nut milk bag is best suited for straining, great for ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, shredded cucumbers for tzatziki, summer berry syrups, and — most importantly, at least this month — making very pretty chicken or turkey stock.

Photo: Sam Bithoney Photo: Sam Bithoney

Using the bag is easy. After skimming or separating your fat, pour your stock into a container that’s been lined with through bag. (A four-cup measuring cup is an excellent vessel for this process, and it makes measuring and pouring into a storage container much easier.) You’ll be amazed at what you find. Since there’s no absorption with nylon like there would be with a cheesecloth, liquids move faster through the nut milk bag.

Photo: Sam Bithoney, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Bithoney, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Bithoney, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Bithoney, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Bithoney, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Bithoney, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Bithoney, In-House Art

Photo: Sam Bithoney, In-House Art

Once you filter all the little bits out of your stock, you can freeze it until you’re ready to make your gravy (or use it to make some soup). Both are good options, and both will be free of that pesky, unsightly debris.

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