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Adventures in food for curious cooks.

Giblet Broth


Giblet Broth

Lynley Jones

Don't throw those giblets away! With just a bit of time and attention, they will make a broth you can use in Thanksgiving Gravy, Herbed Bread Stuffing, or any dish where you would normally use chicken broth.

Updated November 2017


Giblet Broth simmering on the Adventure Kitchen stove.

Giblet Broth simmering on the Adventure Kitchen stove.

Giblets and neck from one turkey (see notes)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion

2 carrots

1 celery stalk

1 Bay leaf

4-5 black peppercorns

About 10 sprigs fresh parsley

About 10 sprigs fresh thyme

Salt and pepper


1.  1. Discard the liver (or save it for another use).  Use a meat cleaver or other strong knife to chop the neck into smaller pieces, about 1-2 inches in length. Cut the heart and gizzard into smaller pieces, cutting each organ into rough fourths.

2. Warm the olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add the neck pieces to brown them in the hot oil. As they release from the pan, toss them around to brown evenly on all sides. When the neck pieces are brown, add the heart and gizzard pieces to brown briefly in the pan.

3. While the meat browns, chop the onion, carrots and celery into rough, large pieces. When the meat has finished browning, add them to the pan, tossing them with the meat to brown and soften for about 5 minutes. As the vegetables release their juices, they will begin to loosen the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

4. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley and thyme to the pan. Generously season everything with salt and pepper. Add cold water to cover all ingredients by about an inch.

5. Set the lid on askew and bring to a simmer. When the water begins to simmer, turn the heat to medium-low. Adjust the temperature as needed to produce occasional gentle bubbles but not to boil vigorously. Strong boiling will result in a cloudy, greasy broth.

6. Let the broth simmer very gently for as long as possible, up to 4-5 hours. The longer it simmers, the more rich and flavorful it will turn out.

7. When finished, strain the broth into a degreasing pitcher (aka fat separator, see notes) or other bowl or measuring cup.  Skim the fat and allow the broth to cool completely before covering and storing.


The giblets consist of the heart, gizzard and liver, which are usually packaged into a small bag together, with the neck separate. All of these are usually found stuffed inside the main cavity of the bird.

Don't use the liver for this - it will add a bitter taste to your broth.

To make extra broth, or to give it a stronger flavor, you can buy extra turkey parts from the butcher and throw those into the stockpot as well. You might be able to get some extra turkey necks or feet for free (or very, very cheap). Otherwise, turkey wings are great for this. The ideal pieces for broth or stock have a high bone-to-meat and skin-to-meat ratio, rather than very meaty pieces.

You may use the broth right away or store it tightly covered in the freezer or refrigerator. May be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 6 months.

I'm including a link to a fat separator (also called a degreasing pitcher). It's an ingenious little contraption. The one I'm linking to is made by Oxo. It's exactly the kind I use and I love it. Here's how it works: the pour spout comes from the bottom of the pitcher rather than the top, so when the fat rises to the top, you can pour the de-fatted liquid from the bottom of the pitcher, and you're off to the races.

Black Peppercorns

Organic peppercorns imported from Vietnam. 1/2 cup-sized jar.

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