Chef Chris Cosentino’s educational and inspirational tool for those who are interested in learning about and cooking with offal.

Proper Turkey Slaughter

heirloom turkey

In preparation for Thanksgiving this coming Thursday my friend Jonnatan Levia and I spent our Sunday morning up in Sebasatapol helping slaughter heirloom breed turkeys with the 4-h kids and my good friend Jim Reichardt of liberty ducks.

The process was very simple each bird was brought over by its owner so it stayed calm, it was placed upside down in a cone to hold it. Once the incision was made the turkey bleed out in a few minutes, then it was tumbled in hot water to make the feathers easy to remove. The birds were hung by there feet and everyone helped pull feathers then over to the eviscerating table. The liver, heart and giblets were separated, as well as the testicles and pre eggs. Then the bird had its crop and intestines discarded then it was rinsed and deep chilled. All a very quick and amazing process I was glad to be a part of this.

Each family that raised these birds were there helping with the processing of the birds, making sure they were handled with care and tagged for their buyers from the slow food auction. It was an amazing experience to be there with families most non food professionals each person with a specific task in getting these birds clean and chilled asap. These birds were beautiful in so many ways, they were massive birds each with different plumage and colored feet, all unique breads from around the country. When it was all said and done there was about 60 birds prepared for the holiday. I can say I will be very thankful for my thanksgiving turkey this year since I picked him, then took him to the table start to finish. Thanks Jim for having me there it was a great learning experience.

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