Sunday, November 25, 2007

A brief rant about turkey liver

So, if you are dealing with a turkey and want to make giblet gravy or turkey stock, every recipe you will find tells you not to add the turkey liver until very late in the process, as it will make the product of your labors taste bitter. BUT! Does ANYONE tell you how to recognize which of the three (in the case of my recent turkey) small items in the paper bag IS the turkey liver? They do not. I performed a Google(TM) search* for images of turkey liver and was sadly disappointed. One site from Dorling-Kindersley had a lovely photo of various kinds of turkey "offal" (the wonderful old term for such things) but at least on the website, they were not identified. Other sites had photos so murky and taken from so far away as to be quite useless.
Now, I know what a human liver looks like (more or less, shapewise), or a beef liver. One might assume that a turkey liver looks similarly shaped but smaller, but of my three items, one looked like a heart (2 chambers) and the other two both looked as if they COULD be livers. So, this time, I used chicken broth for moistening the stuffing, etc. and put the turkey neck and giblets into a bag in the freezer. But tomorrow I plan to make turkey soup with the carcass and it will be Use It or Lose It time for the innards. Can anyone help?
*A friend of Cordeliaknits works in the legal department at said search place and she says this is the proper terminology. She also says the amenities are all they're cracked up to be.

7 comments:

Cathy said...

If you have seen a chicken liver, you will recognize a turkey liver - has the same look.

Does that help?

Auntie Knickers said...

I may have seen a chicken liver many years ago, but my memory is dim. What I do remember is chopped liver at Hillel dinners that I attended for the food and singing at A Host at Last University; but chopped isn't much help.

Cathy said...

No, i would thnk that wouldn't help. Does your grocery stores carry chicken livers? (Our's do, but i don't know if that is a regional sort of thing) - if so, that will give you a good idea what it looks like.

And, if all else fails, if you have a local butcher shop, bet they could help.

Auntie Knickers said...

That's interesting, I am pretty sure I haven't seen a package of them. Oddly enough, I get my turkey (and chicken) from a meat market, which grows its own beef and pork, but gets the poultry from several towns away. I'm not sure the people at the market know any more than I do about poultry, though they know a lot about beef and pork. Maybe the thing to do is cook each suspect thing separately and taste them once! (I am not fond of liver, although I was able to eat chopped liver and leverpostej, a Danish version, on rare occasions.)

Crimson Rambler said...

maybe it will help to know that the giblet package doesn't always contain the original innards, all the innards, nothin' but the innards, of the turkey it's in. so it's quite possible that you got two livers in yours. Stars to you for recognizing the heart! the liver looks like...liver...soft, smooth, floppy, not a muscle, not fibrous. The gizzard is tough-looking, firmer to touch.

Julie said...

Often times companies throw random parts in the "giblet" pack. For example, today in my turkey I found one gizzard (two floppy halves, butterfly style) and two livers. No heart to be found... Do a google image search for turkey gizzard or turkey giblets, that should help you to identify a bit more confidently. :D

Sharol said...

here's a link to a great photo of said parts:
http://geekygourmet.com/2006/09/19/turkey-giblet