We (Barry, Tina, and Amy Powell of Atwood Village Family Farm) processed five free-range heritage-breed turkeys at Red Sunflower Farm on Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving. These fine toms (three Narragansett, one Chocolate, and one Midget White) have lived at Little Green Pastures Farm near Butler Kentucky, foraging and often roosting in the woods and eating minimal grain. On the hoof, they weigh out at about 25 pounds.
We set up the processing site so we could work on two birds at a time.
With two quick motions, the jugular vein and carotid artery are severed. The bird quickly becomes unconscious but its wings spread and flap.
Water is heated to 150 degrees and the birds are dunked or "scalded" for about five seconds to soften the skin to make plucking the feathers easier. We plucked each bird in less than fifteen minutes.
Here you see Amy, the master eviscerator at work. The gizzard, liver, and heart are harvested - livers make a great pate, and th gizzard and heart can be boiled along with the neck to create delicious gravy or broth.