Use The Slow Cooker To Get A Head Start On Turkey Giblets This Thanksgiving

It's about that time of year when you need to start figuring out your Thanksgiving dinner plans. There's deciding the menu, curating the guest list, grocery shopping, and, of course, all of that cooking. If you're the designated chef in your family (or friend group), then it's even more important to map out what you can make ahead of time and what's left to do on Turkey Day. To make your holiday cooking easier, we've got one idea to give you a head start: Pull out your slow cooker and make the turkey giblets overnight.

What are giblets, anyway? They're the turkey's gizzard, neck, liver, and heart, all of which are tough and rubbery on their own but add layers of flavor to other dishes. That being said, you might think turkey giblets aren't meant to be a part of your Thanksgiving dinner menu, but they're common ingredients for gravy and stuffing (or dressing from some of you). The slow cooker is key to preparing giblets in advance because it allows you to safely let them cook overnight while you rest before the big day.

Making turkey giblets in a slow cooker

If you're wondering where to get giblets, reach inside your turkey. Most birds come with a bag inside of the cavity containing the gizzard and other giblets. Depending on what you're cooking, those giblets should suffice for the gravy or stuffing. If you need more for your recipe, or if your turkey didn't come with them, then head to the local butcher and see if they have extra available for purchase. Your local grocery store might also sell packaged giblets separately, but those might have been previously frozen, which could require you to adjust the recipe accordingly.

Now, it's time to start slow cooking. First, rinse the giblets clean, then cut them into smaller pieces. Set the slow cooker to low heat, then add the giblets with other ingredients like sliced onions and minced garlic. Pour chicken or vegetable stock into the slow cooker and cover with the lid to let the giblets cook overnight or until they're tender. If you're making gravy with the giblets, start with a roux according to your go-to recipe, then add it to the slow cooker with the giblets until it thickens. If the giblets are for stuffing, follow a standard recipe and add the giblets later on when it's time to stir the ingredients together.