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Dec 18, 2010 07:28 PM

Turkey vs. Chicken Broth -- Is Turkey weaker?

(Bit of a long post, TLDR at bottom)

Last night, I made some turkey stock/broth for the first time, ahead of our Christmas Turkey dinner. I want to use this stock in the gravy and "stuffing" (which will cook outside the bird, but whatever). I used 2 whole turkey wings (like, drumette, wing, and wing tip), and, because I couldn't find any turkey backs/bones, added a chicken back + random chicken bones, and a handful of chicken gizzards I found on sale. (All parts were added raw; I was under a bit of a time crunch.)

I made this stock/broth the same way as I have done many times for chicken -- cover bones with cold water, add a tiny bit of salt, bring gently to just below boil, skim skim skim, add roughly cut up veg (carrot celery onion), bring back to almost-boil, skim skim skim, lower heat to bare simmer, and let it sit.

Normally, when I do this with store-bought kosher chicken backs, 2 chicken backs will yield a deeply flavourful liquid in about an hour or 2. I don't even need to add extra meat, as there's plenty clinging on the backs. But this time, even though I simmered for 7-8 hours, the liquid was ... kinda weak.

After removing the solids and straining, I reduced it a bit, and that helped. But not much. Upon chilling in the fridge, the liquid has set into a light-medium gel. So, I'm fairly certain I extracted all the gelatin/collagen from the bones and skin.

The lack of *oomph* doesn't really matter for this batch, as I'm just using it as a flavour helper. But when I make turkey soup out of the Christmas dinner leftovers... should I expect that the flavour will be weaker than chicken soup? (Esp. since it'll be cooked bones/meat going in!)

TLDR: Is turkey soup, all other things being equal, supposed to taste less rich/deep than chicken soup? And if not, what am I doing wrong?

Many thanks to all for your wisdom & expertise!

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  1. You are not, IMO, doing anything wrong. I have always found turkey stock to be less flavorful than chicken stock (perhaps that's why they market chicken broth as widely as they do) but have never looked at it scientifically. Perhaps someone can help both of us with this one because if there's a way to obtain the same "oomph" (short of more reduction - which we already considered) I'd like to know the secret too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      I have found that browning the turkey pieces before making the stock helps enhance the flavor quite a lot.

    2. I noticed that you said when you make chicken stock you use Kosher chicken backs and for the turkey stock just a tiny bit of salt. Could it be that you are just under seasoning? Just a thought..

      1. My first thought is that you used only light meat. For really flavorful turkey stock, you'd need a drumstick or two as well!

        The only turkey soup I make is from the carcass of the turkey after I have served it. Usually there's some extra dark meat (as I don't like it as much) so I throw that in with the bones along with carrots, an onion, celery seed and S & P. Boil for 3 - 5 hours then chill. The next day the broth will have a firm set.

        When made this way, I find turkey soup/stock to have a stronger flavor than chicken soup (and I use a whole chicken for my chicken soup).

        So the next time, throw a drumstick in and I think you'll be happier. I hope!

        1. I find turkey stock to be much richer - in fact it is now what I will use as a base for a chicken soup or should I say turkey soup - I use turkey necks that I get form the local kosher butcher -

          1. Agree with happybaker and weinstein5.
            I made turkey stock after Thanksgiving. I used the carcass and maybe a wing or two that was leftover. I added 3 drumsticks, along with the usual carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf etc.
            The stock was incredibly rich and flavorful, even a bit gelatinous once it set up.
            I used the dark meat from the drumsticks to shred into the soup.
            Carcass + dark meat=great turkey stock...more intense than I have ever gotten chicken stock.