What are the Turkey Giblets & Neck Used For?

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Don't cook the giblet bag with the turkey.
Don't cook the giblet bag with the turkey. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Ingrid)

Some people throw away that little bag of "innards" found in frozen and fresh turkeys, but there's more you can do with these morsels. Look beyond their gross-out factor and add them to recipes for a new taste adventure.

Preparation

No matter what you decide to do with turkey giblets, you'll have to prepare them first. Before you stuff and cook the bird, remove the giblet bag. Take out all the pieces and separate the liver if you don't like the taste. Toss everything else in a small saucepan with some spices or an onion. Cover with water, boil and simmer.

Gravy

Now you're ready to add them to recipes, like turkey giblet gravy. Use both the chopped giblets and the broth from boiling. Most cooks recommend against using the liver in gravy since it adds a distinctive liver taste, but to each his own.

Make giblet gravy
Make giblet gravy (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Rick Audet)

Stuffing

You can also chop up the cooked pieces and toss them into turkey stuffing. Some stuffing recipes recommend using the giblet broth in place of turkey broth or butter.

Stock

You can also strain the broth you get from boiling and store it in the refrigerator or freezer to add to soup and gravy recipes later.

Store broth for later
Store broth for later (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Patricia H.)

Pate

You can use the turkey liver to make turkey pate, or mix it with duck or chicken liver. Again, personal preferences rule here. Some people enjoy the taste of turkey liver, while others loathe it. (Some folks feed the chopped, cooked liver to their dogs, although some smaller breeds are known to get sick on it.)

Give your best friend a treat
Give your best friend a treat (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Jakob Montrasio)

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