Roast Some Turkey Necks for Awesome Stock

Heather says:

Want to take your Thanksgiving recipes up to the next level? You can get started now by buying and roasting turkey necks to make stock. Want to get a jump on your Thanksgiving prep? Go ahead and make your roast turkey neck stock now and freeze it for your Thanksgiving recipes*. Would I go to the effort of roasting turkey necks every time I want stock? No, but for a special meal like Thanksgiving, I find the richness of this stock is well worth the extra time and effort. (I specifically made it to go in a mushroom risotto, but this stock is perfect for adding to dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, whatever calls for stock or broth in your menu.)

Thankfully, I have noticed that turkey necks are becoming much easier to find -I live in a smaller town, if we have it, you probably won’t have to search too hard. Typically the necks are next to the cut up poultry and yes, you can definitely substitute turkey wings for the necks in this recipe.

Cheesecloth really comes in handy when straining your turkey neck stock or you can use it to make  a bouquet garni if you want. I prefer to take the toss it in the pot and then strain approach, what about you?

How to Roast Turkey Necks for Awesome Stock


Roast Turkey Neck Stock

Roast turkey necks make a rich stock for Thanksgiving recipes.

  • 3 lbs turkey necks
  • cooking spray or olive oil -unless you like scrubbing a roasting pan
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed and cut into chunks
  • 2 ribs celery, washed, cut into chunks, with the leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion peeled, washed, and cut into quarters
  • Approximately 4 quarts COLD water

 Roast Turkey Neck Stock Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray or olive oil.
  • Place the necks in the roasting pan, if you want, you chop up the necks with a heavy cleaver, this will allow more gelatin to leach into the stock, but I don’t always bother and didn’t this time -obviously. And, do I need to mention you should do this on a cutting board and NOT in your roasting pan?
  • Roast at 450 for about 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until the necks are a rich brown and cooked through.
  • Place the necks and remaining ingredients in a 6 quart stock pot.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Allow to simmer, skimming occasionally for 4 – 6 hours.
  • Strain through cheesecloth and a strainer into a bowl or pitcher. Use immediately or follow the next steps to store:
    • Set the bowl or pitcher in a cool water bath, changing the water frequently, or just add some ice cubes a handful at a time. Place the stock in the refrigerator overnight and skim off any fat.
    • Pour the stock into freezer safe containers (I use zippered freezer bags) label and freeze.
Helpful equipment:

*Yes, I’m working on this year’s Countdown to Turkey Day and I’m thinking about trying to bundle it all together and having it available as an ebook for those of you who want it in that format. It’s just the time factor kicking my butt, once again. Whee!

Rich Turkey Stock takes your Thanksgiving recipes to the next level. Everything from the gravy to your dressings will benefit from taking the time to make a batch of this stock before the holiday.


  1. Kim on November 15, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Would turkey wings work for this? I am having trouble finding turkey necks in my neck of the woods. The butcher at the local Publix said that this is not something they carry.

    • Heather Solos on November 15, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Yes, ma’am. (I even mentioned wings in the post) Any bony, not really otherwise useful bits of the turkey will work, just stay away from the liver, you’ll get a bitter, cloudy stock.

      Although I am a little surprised as I bought these necks at Publix.

      • Kim on November 20, 2012 at 7:50 am

        FYI: I found the turkey necks at Publix today. Maybe they were waiting for Thanksgiving to bring them into the store.

        Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Kim on October 19, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I wonder if I could do the roasting in my 9.5 qt dutch oven.
    Pros: One less dish to clean later
    more fond=more flavor

    Potential cons: would the Dutch oven be too deep for proper roasting?

    • Heather Solos on October 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      I think, uncovered it’ll be just fine. Yes, it’s a little deep to be technically roasted, but they won’t be crowded and you should have plenty of maillardy reaction goodness.

    • K in Philly on October 22, 2012 at 9:43 am

      Absolutely. Just don’t put the lid in an oven over 350 degrees. Also it would be great to deglaze the bottom of the pan to get all those yummy bits in your soup stock!

  3. dina on October 18, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Is it okay to eat the necks after roasting? (without boiling)
    Or would I need to roast them longer?

    • Heather Solos on October 22, 2012 at 8:57 am

      Yes, it’s okay to eat them, but I don’t really recommend this as a recipe as far as flavor goes. I believe these would be pretty dry, since they aren’t being cooked with the intent of consumption as is. . .

  4. Keter Magick on October 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    I leave the fat in and put up my stock in canning jars while still boiling hot. I tighten the lids, let set on the countertop for 15ish minutes to cool slightly, then tighten the lids some more and put in the refrigerator. The fat rises to the top and creates a really excellent seal so the stock keeps fresh a lot longer in the refrigerator – over a week if you keep your refrigerator quite cold like I do (the back just barely freezes delicate things like lettuce, but won’t freeze milk). When ready to use, just take a teaspoon and remove however much of the fat cap you don’t want going into your recipe.

    The dogs love the fat cap as a treat. I would be very circumspect about giving raw poultry bones of any kind to a dog as they can form sharp splinters. When I make stock, however, I use apple cider vinegar in the pot to help break down collagen and bones and increase the nutritional content of the stock, and this leaves some bones crumbly after an overnight simmer. I mash these with my fingers and throw away any hard pieces. The dogs always get a picked-through mix of meat scraps, cartilage, skin and mashed bones from any stock I make.

  5. Illume Eltanin on October 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I save and freeze roasted carcasses and use them to make homemade stock throughout the year. I personally like the flavor of combining chicken and turkey in my stock. But if I want a stock of just one or the other, using roasted backs and necks works well.

    • gail frascinella on November 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      I feed my dogs a BARF diet. Poultry bones splinter after they’re cooked. Raw bones are soft and pliable and shouldn’t be a problem. Otherwise all those wolfy-ancestors would have bit [no pun intended] the dust.

  6. casey on October 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    You can also make your dog really happy by giving him one of those UNCOOKED turkey necks. Less of a mess if you freeze it first though.

    • seriously? on December 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      It’s stupid to give dogs bones that can splinter and rupture their internal organs.

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