We have a lot on our plate right now, and so for once I’ve decided to start preparing for Thanksgiving even before Halloween. It seems outrageously early right now, but I’m sure I’ll give thanks to myself later.
I recently saw turkey wings in the store for the first time this year, so I’m starting with the turkey stock. I love making turkey stock, because it makes the whole house smell like a holiday, and keeps the kitchen warm to boot. Since I’m practically allergic to having the heat on so early in the year, this is a definite plus.
This year I thought I’d try a new recipe for the stock, and as soon as I found one that looked intriguing I proceeded to change it. I’m not compulsive that way and have no objection to following recipes, but in this case, I though I could improve on it a little without doing any violence to the original. And indeed, simmering away ever so gently, it smells quite divine. When it’s done it’ll go right into the freezer, and voilà, one thing to cross off my Thanksgiving list. How about it, have room in your freezer for a couple of quarts of stock?
Make Ahead Turkey Stock *
3 1/2 lbs turkey wings (3 large wings)
3 ounces pancetta, cut into small cubes
2 T olive oil
2 carrots, cut in chunks
2 stalks celery, cut in chunks
2 large shallots, quatered
1 cup rosé, or white wine
2 T Armagnac, or use Cognac
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 425°. Place wings in a large roasting pan , rub them with the olive oil, and rub excess oil around in the pan to film lightly. Sprinkle very lightly with salt, if you plan to brine your turkey, as I do, otherwise be more generous with the salt.
Roast the wings for 10 minutes. Add the pancetta to the pan, along with 1/3 cup water, and roast for an additional 20 minutes. After 20 minutes add the vegetables and another 1/3 cup of water. Roast for another 20 minutes.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Place 4 quarts of water and the wine in a stock pot and add the wings to it. Remove the vegetables to a small bowl, add the pancetta to the stockpot. Deglaze the pan drippings with the Armagnac, and scrape the deglazed pan drippings into a small freezer container. Add a cup of hot water to the roasting pan and give it one more good scraping down, adding the liquid to the stockpot along with the thyme.
Bring just barely to a low boil, then reduce heat to the barest simmer and let simmer very gently for 2 hours. Add the vegetables to the stock and simmer for an additional 45 minutes. Remove the wings and strain out the solids. If you have more than 2 quarts of stock in the pot, boil it until it reduces to 2 quarts. Cool, and freeze.