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maplegrovefisherman

Plucking a turkey

7 posts in this topic

Just wanted to see if anyone could add some insite to this process. I usually breast out the bird, but want to try and pluck one. When you cut the neck and take out the esophogus and crop do then cut the neck further down or just leave as is? Should I stick the bird in boiling water before I field dress?

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If you're gonna pluck it, which I recommend, use water that's not quite boiling. Also, give the bird a good soak pull it out and hold above the steam for a bit. I think the steam doeas alot to loosen the feathers. Then dunk again and start plucking.

As far as the neck, I usually make a slit in the skin at the bottom of the neck on the breast side. Then I pull the neck skin over the neck and clean out the crop, etc.

Hope this all makes sense and good luck!!

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Quote:

When you cut the neck and take out the esophogus and crop do then cut the neck further down or just leave as is?


Much depends on how you cook it, and if you'll make use of the neck meat. I actually take as much of the neck as possible, and bag it seperately. The neck makes for a great soup-bone.

If you're going to deep fry, I'd cut it as close to the breast as possible. Sometimes the neck bone prevents the bird from getting a "full-dunk" in the oil, and the tops of the drumsticks then stick out of the oil when frying.

Quote:

Should I stick the bird in boiling water before I field dress?


Like skunk-ape, I too am somewhat convinced that the steam, as much as the hot water loosens up the skin/feathers. A few words of caution, you can always re-dunk in the hot water if feathers aren't coming out well. However, if the water is too hot, and you plunge too long, you can start to cook the skin/meat, and even have the skin fall/rip off when pulling feathers. I like to dip for about 5 seconds in water that was just starting to boil. Also, make sure all of the innards and other junk has been cleaned out extremely well before doing this.

Joel

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The goal temps are 160-180 degrees for the dunking water. Quite hot but not boiling. I've just skipped the dunking process myself the past few years. By the time I get the stuff together, fill the big pot with water, gwet the water heated to the right tempature, dunk the bird, pluck the bird and put the dunking supplies away I could have dry pucked two turkeys. So I usually dry pluck them myself unless it's a young bird with lots of pin feathers which usually ends up getting breasted.

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How do you get those wing feathers off? I read there is a button like gland near the tail feathers that need to be cut off as well when plucking. Some kind of oil gland. Anyone hear of this?

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I generally cut the entire wing off as the little meat that is there ends up being pretty tough and the feather there do pull hard. The tail section gets cut off with the tail feather intact. Fan it out and apply brorax every few days to the meat on the fan for a week or so to drie it up. Makes a nice display of your bird. The oil glands are loacated in the removed part.

Make sure you get the crop out as well as the spongy material around it.

Good Luck!

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Just pluck 'em in the field when they are still warm. works pretty well

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