Saturday, April 03, 2010

A lesson in Turkey Butchering

My friend Heather and her family came over this afternoon to learn how to butcher and dress out a turkey. They have a farm in Virginia and will be starting a CSA this year. They have been thinking about adding some turkeys to their farm but wanted to see if the end production was something they could do themselves.

I have three tom turkeys hanging out that needed to be processed so I invited them over to help out.

The process of butchering, scalding, feather plucking and dressing out went well and think Heather is comfortable with the idea of doing this in the future herself. But, we only ended up doing one of the toms today. After they left I continued butchering out the turkey. I didn't really want to keep it as a roasting bird so I opted to remove the meat from the bones.

I successfully removed 7+ pounds of both light and dark meat. I saved one nice piece of breast meat that weighed 1.3 pounds aside to cook for dinner later this week. The remainder of the meat was ground in my Kitchen Aide mixer grinder/pasta maker attachment. You can see below that after the first grind the light and dark meat is still quite distinctive from each other.

I put the meat through the grinder a second time and got a nice homogeneous mixture. I packaged up six 1 pound packages of ground meat for the freezer.

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