Most whole turkeys come with their giblets packaged inside the cavity. What are giblets anyway, and what good are they? They're actually perfect for making a simple Turkey Giblet Broth that's the backbone of a flavorful gravy.
You'll usually find the giblets in a bag either in the cavity or the neck cavity of your turkey. The giblets include the gizzard, heart, and liver, and the neck. Your turkey will often still have its tail attached; if so, cut that off and use it for the broth as well.
To start the broth, heat 2 Tbs. of vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Chop the turkey neck into 3or 4 pieces with a cleaver, and chop the gizzard in half. This helps their flavor infuse the broth.
Add the neck, gizzard, tail and heart to the oil, plus 1 large yellow onion cut into 2-inch chunks. The one thing you don't use in this broth is the liver—it could give the broth a bitter flavor. But if you're a fan of liver, chop it up and add it to your stuffing.
Cover the giblets, and cook them gently, stirring every so often, for 20 minutes. They will release a lot of juice into the pan.
Add 4 cups of cold water, 1 small chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery stalk, a bay leaf, 2 sprigs each of thyme and parsley, and 10 black peppercorns.
Bring all this to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer gently for 30 to 40 minutes. After 30 to 40 minutes, the turkey flavor really comes through and you're ready to strain the broth. Use it right away or refrigerate the broth for up to 3 days.
Read Making a Savory, Smooth Turkey Gravy for more tips on making a rich, silky gravy for your Thanksgiving turkey.
Videography by Gary Junken and Michael Dobsevage; editing by Cari Delahanty