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Author Topic: Cleaning A Turkey  (Read 7705 times)

Offline Gutpiles

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Cleaning A Turkey
« on: February 02, 2008, 06:11:38 PM »
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All information and pictures contained in this section are the property of Big58cal and may not be reproduced in whole or in part, without written permission from the man himself.


HOW TO CLEAN A TURKEY, DUCK, GOOSE, PHEASANT, ETC.

These pictures are shown cleaning a wild turkey, but the same procedure will work for any type of bird (except quail, doves, or grouse where the whole breast is removed in 1 piece).


First, start with a bird of some sort.




If youíve got a turkey, and itís a male (gobbler), youíll want to save the beard (unless youíve also got a bearded hen).  Grab the beard up near where it comes out of the skin and give it a good ďyankĒ.  The beard of a turkey is a bunch of modified feathers, so itís attached in the skin just like any other feather.  Pull until the beard comes out.

 


After you get the beard out, cut the back legs off.  Youíll want to do this right at the knee joint (where the scaley part of the leg meets the feathers).  Just find the bend in the leg and start your cut there, cutting the joint.  Repeat the process for the other leg.



Next thing is cutting the tail off (if you want to save the tail).  Feel around up at the base of the tail and youíll feel where the tail bones narrow down after the tail feathers attach.  This is where you want to cut, where it narrows down.  Before you cut though, try to get quite a few feathers up from the cut area.  This will make a really pretty fan when itís spread out, with the different colors of feathers in that area.




After the tail is cut off, it should look like this.




Your next step is to cut the wings off.  In the picture below, Iím starting on the right wing.  Youíll want to cut at the joint up near the body (where the tip of the knife is).  Cut around this joint, but donít go too deep in that the breast muscle attaches to the wing.




If you did your cut at the joint, all that youíll have is the ball joint on the end showing.  Repeat the process for the other wing.




Now youíve got all of the ďinedibleĒ pieces and parts cut out, youíre ready to start in on the meat portions.  See down at the end for what you can do with all of the inedible parts.

Lay the turkey on its back with the breast up, usually with itís head opposite you.




Feel about mid-way down the turkey and youíll feel the upper tip of the keel (breast bone).  Use this as sort of your mid point and pull out (pluck) all of the feathers off of the breast and surrounding areas.  This isnít absolutely necessary, but makes it easier when youíre cleaning up the breast meat because you wonít have the feathers to worry about sticking to the meat.  See the picture below for the upper tip of the keel (where the knife blade is).  Once youíve got the breast plucked, youíll want to make a cut in the skin.  Start at the tip of the keel, and cut down toward the hind end, all the way to the end of the breast.  Just cut the skin.  Donít worry about the meat just yet.




After youíve got the skin cut, start skinning the skin off of the breast.  Do one side at a time.  Take the skin off on the bottom side all the way to the end of the breast, the bottom to where the thigh is, and the upper part to where the end of the breast meat is.  Youíll want to go down below the hole in the skin where you cut the wing off.





After youíve got the skin off of half of the breast, start filleting the meat off of the breast bone.  Start at the top and follow along the keel of the breast from one end to the other.  Fillet all the meat off of the keel and then start down on the flat part of the breast bone.



The yellowish part at the top of the picture is the craw (the area where the green clover is sticking out).  Youíll need to skin the craw back away from the breast, trying not to cut open the craw.




After youíve got all of the breast filleted loose, youíll end up with a rather large hunk of meat!




Repeat the process for the other half of the breast, starting with skinning the skin back, then start cutting the breast loose from the keel.




The next pieces of meat youíre going to need to cut out are the thighs and legs.  Make a cut straight back from the top part of the drumstick to the end where you cut the bottom part of the leg off.  Once you get your straight cut done, start skinning the skin off.




Skin the skin off to the top of the back on the outside part and past the vent on the bottom.




After you get the skin back, put one hand on the drumstick part of the leg and the other on the keel of the breast bone and push apart.  This will help break loose the hip joint (where youíre going to need to cut).  You can see the seam between the thigh and the rest of the body in the picture below (to the left of the knife blade).  This seam is where you want to cut.




Start your cut up near where the hip ball joint is, cutting through the joint.  Fillet the thigh meat off of the rest of the body wherever it is attached.  The knife blade below is in the process of cutting the ball joint loose.




Repeat the process on the other side.  After youíve got it cut out, there should be very little meat still attached to the carcass.  The small white area up on the body of the turkey (diagonally from my index finger) is where the ball joint for the hip used to be.





Once youíve got the breast, thighs, and legs cut out, about all thatís left is a little bit of skin, bone, guts, and a few feathers!  Youíll have 2 breast halves, 2 legs, and 2 thighs.  See the recipe section for cooking these parts!!!




As far as the inedible parts, you can do a basic tail fan and beard mount once you spread the tail out and let it dry.  Or you could get more elaborate with what you want done.  In the picture below, I had the wings, tail, legs, and beard mounted.




You can also cut the spurs off the legs.  Cut the legs on either side of the spur and let them dry for a month or two.  After theyíre dry, I usually take a Dremel tool and sand the skin and tendons off the bone and clean the hole out going through the bone.  Put a piece of leather through the hole and start a necklace of spurs.

With the wings, cut the 3 biggest bones out of the wings and make a wingbone turkey call.  Do a search on the internet for the instructions on how to make them (itís too complicated to explain here).



Click here to refer a friend     :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:



All information and pictures contained in this section are the property of Big58cal and may not be reproduced in whole or in part, without written permission from the man himself.




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Offline John Andrews

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Re: Cleaning A Turkey
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 08:47:42 AM »
Great tutorial, BC!  O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0
How's the knife holding up?
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Offline Big58cal

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Re: Cleaning A Turkey
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 07:55:51 PM »
How's the knife holding up?

Very well.  It did a good job on the 2 deer this past fall. O0  Hopefully I'll get to try the new one out on a turkey here in a few weeks. :wink:
The only purpose of bread is to hold meat!

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In all seriousness, the Marlin is a great rifle, too. I own a Model 60, one of the best rifles ever made.
Brownings are nice, but in terms of quality AND accuarcy AND ruggedness, it's hard to beat the Marlin.
California sucks that's it.

Offline John Andrews

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Re: Cleaning A Turkey
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2010, 09:55:16 AM »
Very well.  It did a good job on the 2 deer this past fall. O0  Hopefully I'll get to try the new one out on a turkey here in a few weeks. :wink:
Yep on that, and on a 35 pound bird!  O0 It would be a good way to break in the new knife.  :)
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