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Favorite part of the turkey?

what's your favorite part of the turkey?
I'm still trying to come up with my list, but in near order:
that crispy skin above and behind the leg where the opening is
bottom meat

any others?

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  1. The oysters. I usually carve the bird, and they don't often make it out of the kitchen. Quality control, and all.

    6 Replies
    1. re: alanbarnes

      aha the oysters... I never knew there was a name for it. I'm going to try to do a photo diagram of all the parts. i wonder what that crispy skin part I mentioned is called or if it has a name at all.

      1. re: alanbarnes

        Check. Best argument for learning to cook and practicing roasting poultry. You'll always be the one to cook the bird and you'll be able to eat or give out the oysters as you choose. Good call alanbarnes.

        1. re: alanbarnes

          Another vote for oysters :-). I roast, I carve, I eat the oysters

          1. re: alanbarnes

            The oyster is the best part of any bird. But outside of the oysters I'll settle for a thigh.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              I never knew of the oysters before I met my wife. Her family always makes a bit of a big deal out of who gets them (though it's all in good fun). This year, I got one, and my kids got the other one. What can I say? It pays to sit at the carving area and kiss some butt.

            2. The stuffing (if made with chestnuts)

              1. Giblets, which I either have to buy extra of or else split between the cook (me) and the gravy. And if the liver is particularly large and beautiful, I will bag it up and have it for lunch on Monday.

                As for the meat parts of the bird, I do love thighs, and have to buy two extra to feed this family.

                1. Dark thigh meat and the stuffing for sure (as long as it's cooked in the bird).

                  1. The crispy skin
                    the stuffing
                    then the thigh

                    1. The gravy! I could live without the bird, but I have to have the gravy!

                      Happy Thanksgiving, All!


                        1. When done right (i.e. when I and only I make it) I love the breast meat with crispy skin. Otherwise, thigh meat.

                          1. My highly decorated WWII veteran grandpa always gets "the part that goes over the fence", meaning the little protrusion on the bottom of where the stuffing goes. (I guess you call that the tuckus?) Once I got a turkey that didn't have one.... well you'd have thought the Gestapo stole it. Now I open the turkey the night before to make sure it is there :)
                            Personally I like a thick slice of white meat with lots of gravy and a sliver of crispy skin.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: iluvcookies

                              I have heard it called both the 'parson's nose' and the 'Pope's nose'. My grandfather and uncle used to fight over it, bless their souls.

                              1. re: iluvcookies

                                Tuckus is a common Anglo spelling for the Yiddish word that is also spelt tokhes, toches, tuchas, tuches, tochus, and tuchis.

                                1. re: iluvcookies

                                  We call it "The part that goes over the fence last." That's my favorite too....although the oysters are a very close second.

                                  1. re: iluvcookies

                                    Oh yum, that part when it's hot and crispy. I always call my wife into the kitchen for "help" and we split it quickly.

                                  2. The piece of skin that covers the neck cavity and has stuffing stuck to the inside. Crisp skin and stuffing infused with turkey fat -- sometimes I want to cook a whole turkey just for that!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      Crispy turkey skin is my favorite but that particular piece of skin is the best! Also love the "oysters", and the thigh meat.
                                      Happy Thanksgiving to all!

                                    2. I love, love, love the turkey wings. I never tuck them behind the bird. I let them sit out there cooking to a lovely golden crispness. I eat them sprinkled with Lawry's seasoned salt with cranberry orange relish. If I have to reheat them, I do so in a moderately hot oven -- around 400 for about 20 minutes. My second favorite part is the skin. I strip all of the leftover skin off and set it aside. Then I put the skin on an old cake tin I use just for this purpose at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or so, until the skin is all crispy. I dip the pieces of crispy skin into cranberry-orange relish. My third favorite part would be giblets made into a delicious giblet gravy.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Fuser

                                        Great idea for recrisping the leftover skin Fuser! Can'twait to try this,

                                        1. re: Fuser

                                          Oh yeah, there's usually a fair amount of skin left over. I reheat in the toaster oven at 450 for some turkey cracklins.

                                        2. Ditto, but I rank the tuckus/tail at top.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            In some areas, the tuckus ia also known as the Pope's nose.

                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                              yes, where the protestant heathens live. ;)

                                              1. re: cimui

                                                Sorry, learned in NJ, not in taste bud lacking, protestant, Me.

                                                Marco the Recovering Catholic

                                          2. The crispy skin
                                            The stuffing
                                            The white meat
                                            The gravy

                                            1. Mmmm, crispy skin and dark meat... [Homer Simpson drooling noise]

                                              And bones. Chewing meat off the bones in the kitchen when no one else is watching. My graceful mother taught me that trick.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: WTBD

                                                And chewing the crispy ends of the bones, of course. They are the measure of how well the turkey was roasted.

                                                1. re: Karl S

                                                  ooooh, gnawing on the crispy skin on the wings!

                                              2. The Hatch red chile "gravy" that goes over the white meat and smashed potatoes. Gravy? No thanks.

                                                1. the heart!
                                                  i'm also a huge fan of the neck. it makes me feel like a cavewoman to gnaw on it.
                                                  and after that, the meat from the underside of the turkey (i guess the back since most people roast with the breast side up?)

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: cimui

                                                    There was no neck in our turkey package this year! WTF??!
                                                    I overloaded with too much tochus and crispy skin this year. the helping when dinner is over and you can pick at the turkey is best b/c you can get pieces that have been soaking in the gravy for an hour. yeahh.
                                                    im calling and complainign or writing a letter to Empire tomorrow.

                                                    1. re: Jeffsayyes

                                                      how disappointing! i couldn't find the packet of gizzards that's supposed to come in the turkey at all this year... until i started carving the carcass after dinner and discovered it, after i broke the ribcage apart so it'd fit in my stockpot. that little packet was really, really stuck up in the cavity. maybe the neck will turn up a few days from now. ;)

                                                    2. re: cimui

                                                      It was just 3 0f us out of 7 and the 19 year old asked to reserve the neck for him. I also took him a plate of the gizzards as an app.
                                                      Excellent roasted brussel sprouts and wild picked cranberry sauce. Wild dried mushroom stuffing.

                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                        that's a smart 19 year old. and it's so nice of you to give him the gizzards. that's another favorite part (when i manage to locate them inside the bird ;).

                                                    3. Turkey oysters are the poultry equivalent of grouper cheeks.

                                                      1. The skin (all of it), tuchas, the fat surrounding the cavity, gizzards/innards.

                                                        1. Neck....I call it the "cook's treat". lol I sometimes even buy a package of turkey necks and roast them up for lunches.

                                                          1. ah the oysters
                                                            the crispy skin
                                                            thigh meat
                                                            sliced breast on a sandwich

                                                            I didn't cook or carve the turkey this year. Never saw a leg or a wing, let alone an oyster. grabbed only one piece of skin, I think the carver threw the rest away.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: laliz

                                                              Argh! My sister and I had to break my health-conscious mother of that one.

                                                              1. re: laliz

                                                                What is up with throwing the skin away? 2 years ago my father in law carved and threw away what he didn't nibble as he carved. My brother in law and I almost had a mutiny. I carved this year. :)

                                                                1. re: irishnyc

                                                                  if nothing else, the skin keeps in the moisture. throwing away? that's just wrong!!! ;-).

                                                              2. The oysters and all the little pieces leftover from the carcass....I love just picking at the bird.

                                                                1. All I can say is thank Gawd for the Internet where a neophyte like me could Google in "Turkey Oyster" and a nice Cook's Illustrated page showed me where it was and how to get it. And here I thought you were all talking about something like Rocky Mountain Oysters, and I was beginning to wonder:

                                                                  a) Are there that many afficiandos of "that part" on here and are they all weird?

                                                                  b) How come all my turkeys never seemed to come with "that part"? I get necks and giblets, but never "those other things"?

                                                                  Of course, now that I had to do a few Google searches, those of you who do indeed like that part of the Tom Turkey will be happy to know there are several "Turkey Testicle" fairs around the country?

                                                                  Happy Holidays and Happy Hunting!

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                                                    As noted above, the oyster is the best part of any bird, including a turkey. It is an "extension" of the thigh, and sometimes even comes hanging on chicken thighs when you buy them a pieces in the supermarket. Maybe their affinity helps explain why they are the two tastiest parts.

                                                                    It amazes me how few people seem to know about it--I vividly recall once eating at a buffet somewhere that had a whole turkey that you could slice your own off of. We were late and most of the meat was gone, but I turned the bird over and there were two beautiful intact oysters just waiting for me. I also believe in the principle that the cook is entitled to eat them while slicing up the T'giving turkey, before sending the platter to the table. A reward for all that hard work.

                                                                  2. The crispy skin, the thighs, and the legs...in that order. I like really good stuffing too. and on a sandwich, all of the above, with the Hellman's.

                                                                    Not a big fan of the white meat....I usually don't even touch it. (except the wings)
                                                                    What we really to come up with is a three-legged turkey.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: The Professor

                                                                      Get a smaller turkey and grab a couple of extra thighs and/or drumsticks to roast next to the turkey. Give the white to the ones who don't know better, plenty of dark to go around.

                                                                      1. re: The Professor

                                                                        "What we really to come up with is a three-legged turkey" -- yeah, they're working on that!

                                                                      2. Absolutely the thigh. It's the most underrated too.


                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                          I'm beginning to like the thigh. Most overrated part: the drumstick

                                                                        2. We raised our own turkeys growing up and I learned to kill and dress the birds. I also learned that the neck was my favorite part. Mom always saved it for me. She also made the best crunchy stuffing using Arnolds bread and dribbling the turkey juice over, then baking it till it was crunchy and bursting with flavor, I miss her holiday meals.

                                                                          1. I think that on any kind of freshly roasted (or fried) fowl, breast meat hot off the bone is by far the best. A bit of crispy skin and juicy, delicate meat in each mouthful can't be beat. Contrast this with the thigh meat , which is harder to get at, usually covered in gummy skin, and sometimes containing blobs of unmelted fat.

                                                                            Thigh meat is far better for almost any leftover application but on the day of roasting, give me the white meat please.