Making bone broth from your bird is an excellent way to use all parts of your Thanksgiving turkey! Bone broth is one of the most nutritious (and affordable) foods you can make at home. Simmering bones and connective tissue along with herbs, vegetables, and apple cider vinegar releases protein, amino acids, B vitamins, and compounds that support joint health. In addition to bolstering your joints, bone broth promotes a healthy gut, fights inflammation, and supports skin health. You can use your turkey bone broth as a base for soups, stews, and sauces, but sipping a steaming cup of this restorative draft is traditional! Our recipe also utilizes scraps from meal preparation (think onion skins, herbs you didn’t use, and citrus peels) that would otherwise be tossed out. You can enjoy your broth immediately or store in glass containers to freeze.
Turkey Bone Broth Recipe
- 1 carcass from your roasted turkey (no need to remove any remaining meat and skin)
- turkey giblets, optional
- 1 large yellow onion, quartered
- 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1 cup fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano) with stems, okay to mix
- 1 peel from citrus fruit (mandarin, orange, or lemon)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 cups vegetable scraps (carrot tops and bottoms, celery tops and bottoms, garlic skins, or onion skins)
- water enough to cover (about 7 quarts)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Add turkey, giblets (if using), veggies and scraps, herbs, citrus peel, apple cider vinegar, and bay leaves to a large stockpot. Add just enough cold water to cover the contents of your pot.
- Heat broth on medium-high heat until boiling. As soon as your broth is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 6 – 8 hours. Skim any foam that forms off the top of your broth.
- Remove from heat. Carefully remove solids from your broth. Strain with a fine mesh strainer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into glass containers for fridge or freezer storage. If freezing, allow 1 inch of space for broth to expand. As your broth cools, a layer of fat will form and solidify on the surface. Remove the fat layer before consuming.
Bone Broth Variations
While plain bone broth is a nutritional powerhouse, you can add additional ingredients to get even more out of your broth!
Bone broth already contains compounds which promote gut health, but adding ginger to your simmer can increase the gut-healing benefits! Slice 2-3 inches of fresh ginger (no need to peel) and add to your pot with the rest of your ingredients before setting to simmer.
For Pain Relief and Fighting Inflammation
Your joints will rejoice when you drink bone broth, but you can up the whole-body anti-inflammatory properties of your broth by adding turmeric. Before setting your broth to simmer, add 2 tsp of turmeric powder and ¼ tsp of black pepper to the pot with all of your ingredients.
For Immune Support
Once your broth has simmered and cooled for about 20 minutes, you can add fresh garlic to help increase overall immune function. Crush 6 cloves of garlic using a garlic press or crush with the flat of your knife and mince. Add juicy crushed garlic to your broth and reap the benefits!
We were fortunate to have the chance to speak with Emma Torbert from Cloverleaf Farm to hear about the unique structure they have and the sustainable practices that they use. Emma got her masters in Horticulture from UCD and worked for the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis for seven years. Cloverleaf is an 8-acre organic orchard and farm outside of Davis, California on the Collins Farm that specializes in peaches, nectarines, apricots, figs, berries, and vegetables. The Cloverleaf follows regenerative principles including no-till, rotational grazing, and cover-cropping. The farm is co-owned by Emma Torbert, Katie Fyhrie, Kaitlin Oki, Yurytzy Sanchez, Neil Singh, Tess Kremer, and Kyle Chambers; who all manage the farm together in a cooperative and consensus-based fashion. You can find The Cloverleaf Farm’s produce at the Sacramento Farmers Market on Sundays and at various grocery stores in Davis, Sacramento, and the Bay Area.
Cloverleaf seems to break the mold of what a traditional farm functions like. Traditionally farms are passed down generationally within families, but all of your farmers come from diverse backgrounds, how did that model get started at Cloverleaf?
“We started out a group of four women and then the farm passed through a number of different partners. As different people were leaving we were realizing that for the sake of future transitions and the longevity of the farm operation a worker-owned cooperative farm would be best, although we are currently still structured as a partnership. There are currently seven partners right now.”
“We’ve been working with the California Center for Co-op Development for the last four years trying to figure out a way that everybody can own equal equity in the farm. 2014 was the first time that we started profit sharing and equity sharing. The equity sharing is not yet equal but that is what we are working with the CCCD on.”
“One of our core principles in our vision statement is working as a team. An important thing in thinking about farm management for us is recognizing everybody’s different skills and working together without an established hierarchical structure. We rotate who gets to be the crew leader every couple of weeks, so they are essentially the boss for those two weeks, which means everyone gets a chance to step into a leadership role.”
How do you limit your greenhouse emissions?
“In terms of limiting our carbon footprint, we do a number of things. In terms of the transportation of our food, we try to deliver as locally as possible. We purposefully choose markets that are closer and do not take our products further than the bay area. We are always making the decision to try to sell closer to home.”
“As for what happens in the field, all of our vegetables get grown no-till. Our orchards and all of our annual crops are no-till, which means that we don’t use a tractor very often at all. In doing that we use less fossil fuel. We’ve also put solar panels around the farm, and can’t wait until we can add more.”
“Something else that really contributes to greenhouse gas emissions is water use. We use moisture sensors so that we use as little water as possible. We tread that fine line of watering as little as possible without stunting the growth of the trees in our orchards.”
What are your pest management practices?
“We are an organic farm so we don’t spray any pesticides while the fruit is on the trees. We do use pheromone sprays, which disrupt the mating cycles of a lot of stone fruit pests. We put out raptor perches and owl boxes. The main pests that we have trouble with are ground squirrels and gophers.”
How do you try to limit your food waste?
We’ve been trying lots of different things for many years and I feel like this year it’s all coming together, we have very little food waste coming from our farm right now. Our compost pile is pretty tiny right now considering the size of our farm.
“We have an Ugly Fruit club, which allows people to buy our third-grade fruit at a discounted price. We also create a lot of value-added products like jams and dried fruit, which allows us to still sell our less aesthetic fruit instead of wasting it.”
“Something else that we do is donate to the food bank, especially this year when we’re worried about our community being food insecure.”
At the Davis Food Co-op, there are many designs of kitchen towels! Or buy some pretty fabric and make some yourself! Stick to 100% cotton or linen to ensure that they are commercially compostable once they’ve run their course.
Making your own Rags
- Old Cotton Shirts
- and/or Old kitchen towels
- Good scissors
- Needle or sewing machine and thread (optional)
Hold onto your old 100% cotton T-shirts and cut them into rags! Old kitchen towels that are stained also make great rags! Start by cutting off the sleeves and cutting out any seams. The best rags are 6-8 inch squares. Start by making the larger rags, and use the sleeves and odd spots to make small rags. Do not worry about making every rag a square, these are not for show and any shape will do! The small rags are great for small messes and for cast iron care!
Cut your kitchen towel into 2 or 4 rectangles, depending on how big you want them. it is nice to have a variety of sizes! Use your needle and thread or sewing machine to hem the edges. Fold ¼ inch of each side in and use a simple stitch to hold it in place. A zig-zag stitch will work the best to stop strings and runners from coming loose.
- Keep a separate bag for dirty rags. The rags are often covered in oil from a cast iron, dust from the bathroom, and various kitchen messes that you do not want staining your clothes! Once your stack is running low, it is time to wash them all including the bag!
- The great thing about using cotton, if you ever clean something that seems to gross to keep the rags, toss them in your city compost bin!
Why this Makes a Difference
More than 13 billion pounds of paper towels are used each year in the USA. At the Davis Food Co-op alone, 4,491 units (single rolls or multipacks) of paper towels were sold in 2019. Rags are a great way to limit or completely stop your need for paper towels!