Monday, April 11, 2011

Two Turkeys, One Shot, and a Couple of Food Heroes

I don't know how I found myself in the backyard plucking turkeys with the Girl Hunter yesterday, but there I was. Sometimes a girl just has to pinch herself.

If you haven't heard of the Girl Hunter, Georgia Pellegrini, then check out her site here before reading on. Her awesomeness speaks for itself. I sent her off with Bear and one of his buddies to hunt turkeys before the season ends. A couple hours later, they came back with two birds scored from one shot out of this lady's smokin' barrel.

I even got to hold one.

I'm not a hunter myself, but I love the self-sufficient philosophy of food foraging in a mass production world. I also love hearing about a badass woman leaving the corporate world to pursue hunting and the preservation of slow food traditions. She's been busy working on her second book, The Girl Hunter, exploring hunting across the country. It comes out this fall! Her first book, Food Heroes, showcases 16 food artisans and the crafts they're fighting to preserve. It's a finalist for the IACP awards in June!

Now, let the cleaning begin.

First, the feathers need to be removed. Pulling them out in small bits works best and keeps the skin from tearing.

Then the heads must be removed.

Then cut the wings and tail at the joint.

Next comes gutting, or field dressing, as the pros call it. This looks like it takes some practice, but all those innards should come out together in a bunch.

At the top half, remove the crop, or half-digested food from the turkey's chest cavity.

Rinse the carcass thoroughly. And your hands, if you like. Voila! Ready to brine, cure, or roast. We took it a step further and broke it down.

And Georgia kept it classy from start to finish. It's not many women who can gut a turkey and still look fresh. She ignored the blood on her fresh manicure for an upcoming event in LA. I told her they'd understand and swatted at the flies buzzing around my head.

And that was how I met my favorite food hero.


Jay said...

So did you save the feathers for your halloween costume?

Ravenous Woman said...

I'm sure a craft project will come of it someday (maybe turkey tail fans?!), but didn't save any this time. But if you're in need of a homemade feather pillow, hit me up and I'll see what I can do!