Giblets are those extra parts of the turkey you don’t roast on Thanksgiving: the heart, neck, gizzards and liver. Although most people don’t usually eat them on their own at the Thanksgiving table, there are a few great ways to use them to add maximum flavor to your holiday dishes.
If you do forget to remove the giblets before roasting your turkey, all may not be lost. Giblets wrapped in paper can cook safely inside the cavity. If the giblets are wrapped in plastic, however, the plastic may melt inside the turkey and release harmful chemicals. In this case, discard the giblets and the turkey if the plastic has started to melt.
First, whether you’re using the giblets or not, remember to take them out of the turkey. They are usually packaged in a paper or plastic bag placed inside the cavity of the bird, so you definitely don’t want to cook your turkey with the bag still in there.
Turkey giblets are most commonly used to make a giblet gravy. The parts (besides the liver, which becomes bitter when boiled) are simmered with herbs and vegetables to make a flavorful giblet stock. Then, the turkey pan drippings, stock, flour and cream combine to form a thick gravy, and the chopped giblets are stirred back in at the end. The final step can be optional if you want the flavor of the giblets but don’t actually want to eat them.
Although the liver isn’t used in the turkey stock, it can still be incorporated into the gravy if you roast it instead of simmering. Alternatively, some people mix it into their stuffing for a deep, savory taste.
Tell us: How do you use your turkey giblets?