Fully deboned turkey | demi glacé made with the bones

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My guide to stuffing: https://youtu.be/WqEiGpdkJIY

My recipe for corn pudding, which you could make with the turkey fat: https://youtu.be/kpmzN4HFbHs


a turkey
a couple onions
tomato paste
a handful of dried mushrooms
a packet of unflavored gelatin (optional)
butter (optional)
white wine (optional)
salt, pepper, herbs and spices (I used dried thyme and sage on both sides, and onion and garlic powder on the flesh side)

I recommend starting this two days before your feast, but you could do all the 2-days-out stuff on the day before.


Open your turkey, set aside the neck and giblets. Put all your bones and trimmings in the same place as you debone.

Flip the bird around so you’re looking at its backbone. Slice down one side of the spine and gradually peel meat off the central skeleton. When you reach the hip and shoulder joints, grab the joint with kitchen scissors and twist hard to dislocate it. Then you can snip through the ligaments. Keep peeling off meat until you get all the way to the breastbone. Rotate the bird and repeat on the opposite side, thus freeing the central skeleton.

To debone the leg quarters, slice on top of the hipbone, peel meat off the side of the bone, slip your knife up under the bone and saw outward to where the hip joint used to be, thus freeing that end of the hipbone. Slice on top of the knee and the shinbone all the way down to the ankle, peel meat off the side of the bones, grab the hipbone and saw underneath the knee and shinbone to free all of the meat. Use scissors to snip the tendons/skin at the ankle and free the bones. Use pliers to pluck out the bone-like tendons running through the legs.


You could just cut the wings off, but I think it’s worth deboning the drumette at the top . Slice on top of the humerus bone, peel meat off the sides, slip your knife under the bone and saw out toward where the shoulder joint used to be. Once that end of the humerus is free, use your scissors to snip the elbow joint and free the rest of the wing.

Trim away any remaining cartilage or anything else you wouldn’t want to eat. Fold the tenderloins back so that the meat will lie at a more even thickness. Make a few shallow slices into the thickest part of the breast to get it to lie flatter. Use your scissors to cut the leg quarters off of the breast so you can cook all the dark meat on a separate tray.

Season the flesh side of the turkey then position the pieces on baking trays, skin-side up — the dark meat should be on one tray and the white meat on another. Season the skin side. Tuck any exposed meat up under the skin, transfer the trays to the refrigerator uncovered and let the skin dry in there until you’re ready to roast.


Put all the bones in a big roasting tray along with a couple onions cut in half. Roast in the oven at 400ºF/200ºC for about an hour until brown, but don’t let anything burn. Flip everything around a few times as you roast. Halfway through, squeeze a little tomato paste onto the bones.

Transfer everything to the stovetop, submerge in water and throw in the dried mushrooms, some peppercorns and bay leaves (if you’re into that). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer the bones, stirring occasionally and replenishing the water as needed until the bones easily break — it took me 16 hours.


Fish most of the solids out of the stock and discard. Sprinkle in the packet of gelatin (not necessary but it can help you increase your final sauce yield), bring to a boil and reduce it as much as you can without thickening it up very much.

Fill a huge bowl halfway up with ice and water, and nest a smaller bowl inside. Lay a sieve in the inner bowl and pass the stock through, discarding any remaining solids. Stir the stock occasionally to help it cool down as fast as possible. Remove the inner bowl, cover, and chill until the fat has risen to the top and the stock underneath has set into a solid block of meaty jello.


Skim the fat off the top and discard or save for corn pudding (recipe above). Transfer the stock to a wide pan and reduce to a glaze, along with an optional glass of white wine. Season to taste, and you can refrigerate this until the feast.


Roast the turkey at 400ºF/200ºC, basting occasionally, until the white meat reaches 160ºF/71ºC and the dark meat 185ºF/85ºC (the dark meat will prob be done first). If you want darker color, jack up the heat toward the end. Mine took about 90 min. Rest before slicing.

Reheat the demi-glacé. If you want greater sauce volume, hold it at a very low simmer and gradually stir in a lot of butter — up to 1:1 butter and demi-glacé. If you don’t let it boil, the emulsion should hold. Taste and adjust seasoning. Inform everybody this sauce is way stronger than gravy, so they don’t need much.

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