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A roast turkey or chicken is the best comfort food – it makes the house smell good, it brings the feeling of nostalgia and holidays, and they’re so easy to make! But with most turkeys and chickens you buy at the store, you also get giblets. Don’t ever throw out those giblets – there are so many delicious ways to cook them!
Giblets are the organ meats of the bird – often the heart, gizzard, and liver – and are used for a variety of purposes. Even though they sound unappetizing, these are actually some of the most nutritious and potentially delicious parts of the bird!
Giblets usually come in a small package inside the cavity of the turkey or chicken, or you can ask your butcher to put them in a separate package. When you get your turkey or chicken, make sure to take the giblets out before rinsing the cavity, and then you’re on your way to making delicious things with them!
Here are some ideas for delicious ways to use chicken or turkey giblets:
- Make gravy! Giblets are rich and flavorful, and making gravy with them is incredibly easy. All you have to do is rinse and boil the giblets for about an hour, chop them up, add the turkey or chicken drippings, skim the fat, and add flour just like you would any other gravy. This makes a really delicious gravy, but also saves you from wasting all those giblet pieces! See also: make-ahead gravy recipe.
- Giblet risotto or pasta. Giblets may not be the most attractive meat, but they are a great addition to rich or complex sauces and savory dishes. Giblet bolognese sauce – just regular bolognese with the addition of cooked giblet meat – is a surprising alternative to normal pasta sauce, and even picky eaters will love it! Giblet risotto requires a little attention, like all risottos, but it elevates regular risotto to a new, more savory level.
- Fried livers and giblets. Frying things makes them delicious, right? Try frying giblets in olive oil until they’re browned and cooked through, adding garlic and onion, and serving with a breakfast hash or over rice.
- Make a curry! Curries are great for covering up inexpensive cuts of meat, plus they’re delicious! Make curried giblets by making a curry – as spicy as you want – and cooking the giblets in the curry sauce. Easy and delicious!
- Serve up a stew. Stews – especially spicy and complex ones, like a spicy Korean stew – are a great way to cook and serve meat that can be tough or irregular looking, like giblets. Plus, since you’re cooking the giblets in the stew, you’re imparting huge amounts of flavor into the stew and the giblets. You can use the giblets in place of regular chicken pieces in this crockpot chicken stew recipe.
- Add them to broth. Broths are great ways to use up chicken and turkey carcasses, so adding the giblets while cooking just adds more flavor and complexity to your broths. See also: crockpot bone broth recipe.
No matter how you choose to cook your turkey or chicken giblets, they’re a great part of the turkey or chicken that you should always use! Want to feed a crowd for the holidays? Check out my recipe for 2 whole roasted chickens with potatoes – it’s a universal favorite!