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How To Butcher Your Own Turkey and Prevent Food Waste This Christmas

Blog • December 3rd 2020

A staggering 1/3 of food produced for consumption is wasted across the globe. Whilst we're extremely effective at addressing this issue - through nose to tail eating and innovative products - we can always do more. So, we've recently teamed up with the brilliant Too Good To Go, to play our part in their global food waste movement. Search the Too Good To Go app to find unsold food from your local shops and restaurants so it doesn't go to waste, plus, if you're lucky enough to live near Ripon, our base, you'll find us on the app and might just be able to bag yourself a deal.

We've also been exploring ways to help others prevent food waste at home. With far more people opting for smaller turkeys and turkey crowns this year - where does that leave all the larger birds? No one wants to see these go to waste. That's why we've created a handy 15-minute guide to help you portion the whole bird into multiple meals, so you can still enjoy festive turkey on Christmas day, whilst freezing the rest for meals in the New Year.

"Butchering a raw bird is much more forgiving than breaking down a cooked one. If you've ever butchered any type of poultry or even broken down a cooked bird, then butchering a turkey might just be a breeze. Breasts, wings, legs - turkey's share the same parts, and they can be broken down in the same way." - Callum Murray, Master Butcher.

  1. Starting with the legs, it's important to leave as much skin as possible attached to the turkey breasts. Pull the leg away from the bird and cut the skin as close as possible to the leg (just the skin at this point). Repeat with the other leg.
  2. Cut the wings off by pulling them away from the bird and cutting first the skin, at which point you should be able to see where the wing joint meets the breast. Simply cut through this joint by slicing through the middle.
  3. Focusing back on the legs now the wings are removed. Gently pull the legs away from the bird and cut as close as possible to the carcass as possible separating clearly. If in doubt, let the knife follow the natural gaps in the muscle. This will leave you with the thigh and drumstick connected which can then be broken down further.
  4. At this point, you can roast as a crown, or breakdown further into separate breasts. To do this, start by slowly cutting the skin all the way down the centre of the bird, which will help you define the muscles better.
  5. Now you can see the breasts clearly, follow the incision down again this time slicing down to the keel bone and following down the bird to the wishbone.
  6. To remove the breasts, gently cut along the crown letting the muscle fall off naturally and separating from the joint.

You will be left with the carcass, neck, wings and giblets to use for delicious stock.

For an easier option this festive season, you could try our chef prepared christmas collection.