Thursday, January 20, 2011

Processing Turkeys.

This post is not for the faint of heart. It includes graphic details that young children should see only with parental supervision=) Please do not continue reading if you have trouble hearing about People Eating Tasty Animals.
We were very blessed a couple weeks ago to be able to purchase two naturally raised turkeys..... Live.
Yes, we had to butcher them ourselves, but that would be no problem!! We had butchered chickens, turkeys shouldn't be too different, right?

Well, to begin with these two birds had gone quite a few weeks past their butchering date and therefore were huge!! They were very hard to pick up, not only because of their weight but they also both were proud possessors of two extremely powerful wings.

We finally were able to hook them up, but the bungee cords stretched and left the Turkeys nearly touching the ground. Which turned out to be a problem during their last death throws (I believe that the details are not necessary at this point, use your imagination:)

So once they were really dead, we cut off their heads, plucked off the feathers and then...

cleaned them out. Everything went just as planned, though Faith said that just as the turkey was five times larger than a chicken, it also smelled five times worse.

Next came the extremely fun part.... Processing the Turkey!!!!!! The first Turkey we chopped up and froze.

One of the breasts weighed 3 1/2 pounds, and this was the smaller Turkey!!!

I brined the other Turkey, and the remaining parts of the first Turkey over night. One of the Breasts we chopped off to make into Turkey Sausage. The rest we stuffed and cooked in the oven for supper.

These two massive legs completely filled a 9 x 13 pan!

We ground up the turkey breast with a nice heavy duty meat grinder Faith had found at our thrift store!!! It worked wonderful!

After the turkey was ground Faith combined three different recipes and a dash of her own whimsy, to make turkey sausage.

Some of which we made into patties and froze.

Last of all for dinner we made one of the most delicious casseroles in the world! We call it leftover Thanksgiving Casserole. Layers of potatoes, Turkey, stuffing and gravy make up this wondrous dish, add a side of home made cranberry sauce and you have perfection!