This is what you do with your leftover holiday turkey ... make a fabulous stock!

Break up the turkey carcass, and chop some of the larger bones in half. Put the carcass in the stockpot with the water and bring slowly to a simmer. Periodically skim off any scum that forms, and if you wish use a skimmer to skim off the fat. (This stock simmering process makes your house smell REALLY good!) Let this simmer for two hours.

Add the mirepoix and sachet; tie the sachet closed with some twine and tie the long end of the twine to the handle of the pot; this makes the bag easier to retrieve. (A tea ball also works well.) Simmer for one more hour.

Remember that during the simmering process, it's best not to stir the stock. The end result will be much clearer if it is not agitated while simmering.

Strain thoroughly; the best way to do this is to ladle the stock out and pour it through a strainer which has been lined with a couple of layers of damp cheesecloth. If you're using the stock immediately, skim off as much fat as you can with a fat skimmer or a piece of paper towel, otherwise cool the stock right away by placing the container into an ice-water-filled sink, stirring to bring the hot liquid from the center to the sides of the container. Don't just put hot stock in the refrigerator; it won't cool enough to prevent possible multiplication of harmful bacteria. To defat the stock easily, refrigerate overnight, until the fat solidifies on the surface, then skim off.

Makes about 6 quarts of stock.

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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)