Wednesday, November 6

Providing Your Own Thanksgiving Turkey!

There's something gratifying about raising your own Thanksgiving turkey.  You know where your bird has been, and what it's been eating, and you did it yourself.  Now that it's been raised, it's time for the butchering.  I sincerely hope that you didn't name it!

Cleaning Your Turkey

Processing a turkey is similar to processing a chicken.  If you're the video-type, we've got a video of chicken processing at the bottom of this post.  

We began by pulling out a washable table and laying them out.  While they were still warm (it's easier then), we plucked out all of the feathers.  We also took off the wings.  Next, we cut off the feet.  I'm sure that there are folks that use these for stew or whatnot, but we tossed them out...

Getting Down to the Meat of Things

After plucking the feathers and removing the larger pieces, we sliced through the skin to get to the meat.  Starting with the breast area, we completely removed the skin, and then cut out the organ meats.  Again, the organ meats can be used for stew, but we served them as a special treat to our faithful goat-herder...

At this point, we were at a point where we needed to start restoring cleanliness, just for hygiene's sake.  I recommend you putting that big table away from the house, and someplace where you can use cleanser and spray water...liberally.  We placed a large bucket by the table to collect stray feathers, bones, and other innards.  

After thoroughly cleaning the meat, I took them inside to butcher them and prepare them for the freezer.  I recommend letting your turkey sit in the refrigerator for a day or so to let the meat rest before putting it into the freezer or cooking it.


  1. I used to always skin poultry as well, I didn't pluck first, I just skinned. makes a smelly job much easier. :)

    1. And a lot faster!! But hubby likes the way the plucked ones cook up better...


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