What To Do With Leftover Giblets From Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Cooking a Thanksgiving turkey is a massive ordeal, whether you brine and roast your turkey, fry it, or even decide to go with a pared-back procrastinator's turkey breast approach. So, after you've spent all day making sure your 20-pound turkey is cooked all the way through, with its skin crisped to perfection, you won't want to waste any of it. And that includes the giblets.

Giblets, an all-purpose word for the parts of the turkey that typically don't make it to your Thanksgiving table, usually include the liver, heart, and gizzards of the turkey, and sometimes the neck as well. Some giblets (like the heart and liver) are edible, while others (like the neck) are not, but all can be used for cooking purposes. Traditionally, giblets are used to make gravy, which is then served with the turkey, making it both a no-food waste dish and a clever way to eat every part of the bird.

Giblet gravy and other uses

Making giblet gravy is so easy, it won't take any time away from your other Thanksgiving Day cooking plans. Simply simmer the giblets as you would any other stock, perhaps with herbs and aromatics. (But save the liver for the very end, or it will get bitter.) The result is a great turkey stock that can be saved for soup or enhanced with a roux to make gravy. If you go the stock route, you can double down and make a double stock after your turkey is eaten by simmering the carcass in your giblet stock.

Turkey livers can be marinated and then fried, grilled, roasted, or sautéed and eaten as is, or even chopped up and added to stuffing or casserole. They can also be mixed with chicken livers to make a delicious pâté. For your turkey hearts, try grilling them in a spicy bourbon sauce. Of course, this only works if you have several, but you can freeze your giblets until you have enough to do with as you please.