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Thanksgiving Tip: Don't Forget the Giblets

Thanksgiving Tip: Don't Forget the Giblets

Today's Thanksgiving tip is actually a really simple one. However, if you're a first time turkey chef, you'll definitely want to listen up. When you buy a whole bird — this is true for many chickens as well — there is actually a small packet inside of it. The packet is in the cavity of the bird and it contains all the giblets — heart, gizzard, liver, etc. — wrapped up in either a paper or plastic pouch. Whatever you do, make sure you remove this from the bird, especially if it's plastic. If you don't, the paper may burn, or even worse the plastic may melt. If the paper burns, you might still be able to salvage everything, however, if the plastic melts it's all over. It will have contaminated the turkey and the giblets, and your meal will be ruined. So simple tip, reach in and take the giblets out of the turkey.
If you're wondering what to do with that little packet, why don't you try making a giblet stock for your gravy? To get the recipe,

Giblet Broth
From Seattle Times via The Joy of Cooking

Makes 4 1/2 cups

Turkey giblets (heart, gizzards) and neck
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup each chopped carrots and celery
5 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  1. Chop turkey neck into 2-inch pieces. Cut heart lengthwise and divide gizzards into lobes. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Add giblets, onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add water and bring to a boil; skim foam from surface. Add bay leaf, thyme, salt and peppercorns. Reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour. Strain through a fine sieve and add water to equal 4 ½ cups. Set aside for gravy. Refrigerate if not using right away.


Join The Conversation
flyingroo flyingroo 8 years
Just a thought....for those with the "ewwwww"s, let me get this straight - you eat any other meat from the bird but you don't eat the giblets and it grosses you out? They are the same type of protein as a thigh for example, there is no difference, shouldn't the thigh gross you out as well? After all, they belonged to the same bird, whether they are on the inside or the outside
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
yummy treats for the kitties
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
My vet actualy recommended cooking these up for my cats, good in natural proteins. Go figure.
georgie2 georgie2 9 years
What's with all the hating towards the giblets? If you're going to be making meat... it's good food! Something died for you to eat it! Appreciate it! If you were living somewhere where food is scarce, I bet you'd all be singing a different tune. I LOVED those little heart on a stick things when I was travelling!
mamaseacat mamaseacat 9 years
I love the neck and the liver. YUM!!! My friend once made her first turkey when we were roommates. Yup, she left it in there but first she stuffed the bird with uncooked rice. Which came out uncooked (or maybe it was burned dry) when she was done cooking. I don't even know how it became a disaster. She wasn't happy about it.
minaminamina minaminamina 9 years
Oh my god I love to eat the neck - my mom's a fan of the giblets.
alleycat7 alleycat7 9 years
I think I just threw up a little . . .
citizenkane citizenkane 9 years
Giblet Gravy = HEAVEN.
aembry396 aembry396 9 years
I use even smaller pieces of the giblets in my gravy...and it is the best!
zazoza zazoza 9 years
here in brazil, where I live, we have i different kind of bbq, called churrasco, and we make skewers of chicken hearts. its sounds gross, but i tell you, they are absolutely delicious!
GibsonGIrl GibsonGIrl 9 years
vapidintuition, i totally love how you take care of the giblets. That is absolutely something I can see myself doing. They gross me out in every way. YUCK!
pinkgirl22 pinkgirl22 9 years
I hate Giblets, but my mom loves them.
michichan michichan 9 years
Gotta warn us, sugar!
brookrene brookrene 9 years
Gross picture!!! i triple the ewwwwww
Emiily Emiily 9 years
ditto to aimeeb's Eeeeewwwwwww
fragiletearz fragiletearz 9 years
This is SO something that I would do, thanks for warning me in advance.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Yes! Giblet gravy is sooo good; you gotta have it w/ the dressing!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I used to FIGHT my sister for the Gibbies. or my mom would chop them up and put them in the stuffing, while i chewed on the neck. nothing better!!
vapidintuition vapidintuition 9 years
BLEH! The first time I ever made a Chicken, I learned about the organ meats being stuffed up inside of it. I gagged my through their removal, all the while being watched by my mom who couldn't stop laughing at me. By the time I progressed to making my own turkey, I had the gagging under control, but still, it was gross. now I have it down to a science, I don't use the organs or the neck for anything, so I get a new plastic kitchen garbage sack and put the bird inside of it, then I use the spray nozzle from the kitchen sink and place it at the neck hole of the bird, and I blast all that stuff outta there with the water, so its getting clean AND I don't have to touch it. Then I put the kitchen sack in another kitchen sack and have my husband run it out to the garbage can immediately. Hehe.. I know its not the most practical way of dealing with it, but it works for me.
BlairBear BlairBear 9 years
My first Thanksgiving, I didn't know that there were giblets in both ends of the turkey and left some in the neck cavity. My brother refused to eat it when he found out. Nothing burned or melted, it tasted good just the same but it was kind of sickening to think what was stuck up there when it was cooking. I check both ends now :D
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