What do you do with poultry giblets?

When I buy chickens, I buy almost always get whole chickens with giblets included. Judging by what’s in my butcher’s case though, this doesn’t seem to be a very common consumer option. Thus, with people cooking whole birds for the seasonal holidays, this may be about the only time some people ever see poultry giblets. I like giblets (especially the liver) and save them up to make batches of mousse for dipping or I’ll bread and fry them for high calorie snackage.

In addition to what I’ve listed above, some other common uses include:

  • Giblet gravy is a Thanksgiving standard in some parts of the U.S.
  • I’ve known people to cut them up into the stuffing.
  • Off to the stockpot!
  • Doggie treats to try to get the wags-per-minute (WPM) well into the triple digits.
  • Let them ripen on the back porch for a few days and I’m told they make great fish bait (although this seems like an awful waste to me).
  • Take them well away from the house and bury them in lime.

So what do you do with poultry giblets?

Primarily turkey: giblets and neck go into the stock pot. When they’re cooked, I dice up the liver and heart and use them in the gravy. The gizzard goes in the trash along with the neck bones.

Roast them along with the bird and eat them. It’s freaking delicious!

May not apply to turkey, which I don’t eat except for the occasional döner kebap.

Same here. The more gravy the better.

I put giblets, neck, etc into a pan of simmering water. The dogs love me.

I save them in the freezer until I make chicken stock.

They go in the gravy, of course.

Aside: Back when I was in Montana, I helped out with a church Thanksgiving meal for the hungry. We gave each attendee the choice of gravy with giblets, or without. The gravy with giblets was so much more popular that they had to put in chopped hard-boiled eggs to make more “giblets”.

Turkey giblets are incredible in a burgundy type of braise. Low heat or sou vide works best.

This. If I’m not making gravy.

To be honest, I haven’t cooked that many turkeys in my life except in a baking bag, unstuffed. There were only 2-3 of us and quantity seemed more important than quality, so I never bothered. Now, my grandmother used to make the giblet gravy back in the 50’s and early 60’s, for a large family, though it was something only the men remarked upon (my mother never used giblets, though she stuffed the turkey a few times). I always sauteed the liver of turkey or chickens for myself, on the side, but I fear I threw out the innards and the neck without compunction, otherwise. No role model to show me the way.

straight to the garbage.

The neck is roasted with the turkey. Humans get the neck. The cats/dogs get the other stuff.

They get cooked on the side for the cook to snack on while doing all of the other things. The giblets get sliced and sauteed. The heart gets cut in half and sauteed. The liver just gets sauteed.

Gizzard and neck are cooked on top of the dressing (I make both dressing and stuffing), then are discarded.

Liver and heart go to the ravens.

I cut them up and include them in my stuffing. Makes it taste divine!

Some years ago at Thanksgiving, the San Jose Mercury had an article, “Turkey Day Confessions.” One reporter said that for Thanksgiving her husband would prepare the turkey and be in charge of roasting it while she would do the accompaniments. Then one year he had to work; he’d be back for dinner but she had to fix her first turkey ever. Everything was going fine until it was time to stuff the bird. When she put in her first handful in it was apparent, “…there was …Something in there.”

In a panic she called her husband. “Oh, that’s just a bag full of the neck, giblets, and stuff.”

“Oh, yuck!”

“I knew you’d say that. That’s why I’d take it out and throw it in the trash when you weren’t looking.”

She used a pair of wok chopsticks to fish the bag out and disposed of it, laying a paper towel on top so she didn’t have to look at it.

The neck is the best part of the turkey. I boil it while I’m preparing the bird and eat it with heavy salt and pepper as a snack while I’m cooking. I toss the liver and use the rest in the gravy.

Really? Outside of the stock pot, I just can’t see any value in the neck? I guess if you want to fight the cats for it, you two can share the turkey next from my holiday bird.

I just don’t get it.

They are the turkey equivalent of baby back ribs. If I had a cheap source of turkey necks I’d cook them for dinner regularly. (On nights my wife works:))

Any Chinese groceries in your area? We have a big one nearby where you can by turkey necks or turkey wings or other bits, all separately packaged.