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Empire kosher turkey

mistermike Nov 28, 2002 11:42 AM

I had a Butterball in the cart, but after discovering the store also had kosher birds, exchanged it for an Empire turkey as I've had good luck with their chickens. What a mistake. Upon taking it out of the plastic I found that the giblets were missing, the neck is hacked in several places, the skin around the neck is ragged, and a large piece of skin is missing from the thigh. It looks like it was processed with absolutely no care. I paid 40 cents more than the butterball and this is what I get. I'm pissed. Has anyone else had this experience?

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    9lives RE: mistermike Nov 28, 2002 12:42 PM

    sounds like it won't win any beauty contests..but more importantly, how does it taste?

    4 Replies
    1. re: 9lives
      Alexandra RE: 9lives Nov 29, 2002 07:32 AM

      I had an Empire turkey which also did not have giblets, but it was outstanding, anyway. The meat was moist, it sliced beautifully and was totally delicious.

      1. re: Alexandra
        balisong RE: Alexandra Nov 29, 2002 10:25 AM

        Empire hasnt put giblets in turkeys in a VERY long time.

        1. re: balisong
          mistermike RE: balisong Nov 29, 2002 03:27 PM

          Well, the bird did come out really well-juicy and flavorful. I'm glad I didn't salt it since it was sufficiently salted from the koshering process. I was still disappointed that there were no giblets for the gravy, and the missing thigh skin is inexcusable for a bird that's supposedly processed by hand and closely inspected-perhaps the skin had been blemished which is why it was removed?

        2. re: Alexandra
          Rubee RE: Alexandra Nov 29, 2002 12:22 PM

          Having roasted my first fresh Empire turkey (19 pounds), I have to agree with Alexandra - very juicy and flavorful.

      2. k
        kjhart RE: mistermike Nov 29, 2002 11:00 AM

        I roasted an Empire Kosher Turkey yesterday, and it was great! No giblets, just the neck (I figured maybe the organ meats weren't kosher, but perhaps I'm showing my ignorance). Other than having to pluck some feathers, about which I had received fair warning from reading earlier posts, the bird looked good, and tasted great.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kjhart
          Deven Black RE: kjhart Nov 30, 2002 07:33 AM

          If the bird is kosher its organ meats are kosher. Not so for mammls

        2. r
          RGR RE: mistermike Nov 30, 2002 11:40 AM

          I have *always* used a frozen kosher turkey, and they are the best! Years ago, Hebrew National offered a terrific bird, but when they stopped producing them, I switched to Empire. There used to be giblets and liver included, but now they only include the neck -- and sometimes not even that. (The lack of giblets is clearly marked on the packaging.) My solution has been to use the turkey neck, if available, together with chicken giblets -- or chicken giblets by themselves -- to make the broth. When combined with the pan drippings from the roasted turkey, the gravy does taste of turkey, not chicken. As for the bird itself, as has already been noted, it does need a bit of cleaning up, removal of pin feathers, etc. But the required "kashering" eliminates the need for brining or for additional salting. And the final roasted bird never fails to turn out totally succulent and delicious. To top it all off, for the past several years, I have been been getting the turkey free because of supermarket promotions in my area.

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