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What do you do with the giblets and neck for Thanksgiving?

This topic has started wars in my extended family and also with friends. John's family puts some giblets in the gravy and some in the stuffing. John hates giblets and is horrified when he accidentally eats some of these little surprises. Once I spent Thanksgiving at my cousin's house and was dismayed to learn that her family tradition was to cook up the giblets and neck as a good starter for turkey soup later. I have to admit that they made a fine turkey soup but then the turkey gravy sucked. My firm belief is that giblets are to be cooked up along with the neck to make a savory broth as a base for the all important turkey gravy. This makes Thanksgiving Dinner yummier and also all those future hot turkey sandwiches. Dogs get most of the giblets and the cat gets a piece of giblet plus the neck to chew on for about ten minutes before she can eat any of the bone. Then I take it from her. I make turkey soup too to go with all those cold turkey sandwiches but I already have two frozen containers of chicken broth just waiting to enrich that hot turkey rice soup. Man, now I'm hungry.

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  1. There was recently a great topic on something very similar. I have to admit, the conversation we had will change my use of the neck.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/572510

    1. We put the liver in the stuffing and the rest gets simmered for stock to make the gravy. Thanksgiving is usually at my parents' place and the cooked neck, etc get thrown in the woods for whatever critters want to eat them. Foxes we think.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Sooeygun

        I make a giblet gravy but cooking them in a saucepan with water until done, remove from pan, cool, and chop into small pieces, add back to the broth, then thicken the gravy with cornstarch and water. Season to taste. The neck is the cook's snack! The cook is me and I've been known to buy a package of turkey necks any time of year and cook them for my lunch. I also like chicken necks.

        1. re: alliedawn_98

          Yep, I cook the neck and gizzards (while the turkey is roasting) in water with celery, onion, bay leaf and peppercorns...I scrape whatever meat I can from the cooked neck--you'd be surprised how much comes off--then I chop that up along with the giblets and add to our pan-gravy. The broth also goes into the gravy. Not everyone likes giblets in their gravy--others put the giblets in the dressing or stuffing.

          1. re: alliedawn_98

            Allie now I miss my friend Joe who was like a second father to me. My daschunds and cat would miss out when I cooked for him because he loved the necks and giblets from chickens and turkeys too.

        2. I boil all that stuff that comes in the little bag, chop, peel off meat from neck and add all of it, including the broth, to my dressing.

          Gravy is made from the juices cooked off.

          1. I roast them all with the turkey and them eat them. That's the way we did it at my grandmother's when I was a kid and we'd fight over the giblets and neck. Now I don't have to fight anyone for them as my in-laws think I'm disgusting for eating them.

            the in-laws use them as a base for the gravy, but don't chop them up so I get to eat the neck and giblets when I'm at their house as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: roro1831

              We use them as a base for the gravy, too- don't pit them into the gravy- my mom eats them!

            2. I use the neck and wing trimmings for stock for the gravy, roast the heart and gizzard tucked under the turkey, and toss the liver. The gizzard and heart are the cook's snack. I despise little bits of giblets in gravy or stuffing.