Regarding flavor, turkey liver is one of the best-tasting animal livers, especially compared to its close alternative, chicken liver.
For the most part, the turkey liver looks like the human liver. A significant difference between the two is the shape.
So, if you paid attention in biology classes, you might have an idea of what a turkey liver looks like. But, if you didn’t, we’re here to help you paint a clear picture of this delicious turkey part.
Fresh turkey liver is usually plump, with a dark red color. However, fresh turkey liver can also be a dark reddish brown color. This article further answers your questions about turkey liver.
What does Turkey’s Liver look like? How to Identify Turkey Liver
Turkey’s liver looks like the human liver, except it doesn’t have a clearly defined shape.
However, turkey liver looks exactly like chicken liver; one of the reasons turkey and chicken liver are excellent substitutes for each other.
Here’s how to correctly identify turkey liver:
- Amorphous shape
- Dark-red, burgundy, or reddish-purple color
- Smooth, glossy surface
- Often, the biggest piece in a bag of giblets
- Very soft when touched
What does Turkey Liver taste like?
Turkey’s liver has a deliciously rounded yet mild flavor.
Although turkey liver has a taste similar to that of chicken liver, its flavor is milder and smoother than the flavor of chicken liver.
Interestingly, the turkey liver is known for the best-tasting variety of livers.
Read also: What does Key Lime Pie Taste like? – A Recipe, A Try
Is It Good to eat Turkey Liver?
Turkey livers have a mildly smooth but rich flavor, so it is perfectly fine to eat them. Turkey livers make a fine addition to many delicacies. Some of which we will mention later on.
Also, turkey liver is an excellent lean protein source and is rich in the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
Can you eat Turkey Liver Raw?
You shouldn’t eat liver raw. There is no good reason to do so; the risks associated with eating raw liver are too dire.
Eating raw or poorly-cooked turkey liver exposes you to food poisoning caused by any of these:
Symptoms associated with the infections caused by these bacteria are fatigue, nausea, headaches, vomiting, abdominal pain, etc.
These symptoms sound awful. Thus, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What to do with Turkey Liver
The good news is that turkey liver goes well with many things, from apples and onions to vegetables and potatoes.
As per the four recipes we outlined below, you can:
- eat turkey livers with boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, boiled vegetables, and sautéed vegetables,
- enjoy turkey livers with bacon and caramelized onions,
- pair turkey livers with deliciously toasted bread,
- savor turkey livers on their own,
- mince turkey livers for babies and people who can’t chew.
Along with these, you can also:
- boil turkey liver on the stove,
- pan-fry turkey liver on the stove,
- oven-cook turkey livers,
- grill turkey livers,
- cook turkey livers in an air fryer,
- use a slow cooker to make turkey livers.
How long do you cook Turkey Liver?
On average, turkey liver can cook in two minutes, but often, turkey liver cook time is subjective.
This is because the cooking time for turkey liver heavily depends on:
How you cook It
Basically, the recipe you use should give a definite idea of how long to cook your turkey liver.
How thick the Turkey Liver or Livers are
Before cooking turkey liver, examine what the turkey livers look like first. The size of the turkey livers is a major determinant in their cook time.
When cooking turkey liver, you should keep the thickness in mind. The thicker the turkey liver, the longer it should cook, and vice versa.
You should note that wideness doesn’t equal thickness. For example, a liver piece can be wide (horizontally or vertically) but may not be dense.
If you’re an avid cook, you’ll know that preference is a significant determinant in cooking. Often, what you want is different from the recipe or the norm. It’s the same with cooking turkey livers.
Demography shows that turkey liver lovers will drool over slightly bloody turkey livers, while others might love their turkey livers to be somewhat pink or well-done.
Let’s explore three turkey liver recipes and how the cooking time varies.
How to make Pan-Fried Turkey Livers
- 4 rinsed and thinly sliced turkey livers (10 ounces),
- 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter,
- 2 tablespoons of kosher salt,
- ¼ tablespoon of freshly ground white pepper,
- 1 tablespoon of paprika,
- ¼ tablespoon of nutmeg,
- 1 tablespoon of flour.
- Mix the flour, kosher salt, pepper, paprika, and nutmeg in a bowl. Cover the turkey liver slices with the mixture and shake them lightly to remove excess flour.
- Over medium heat, heat the butter in a 12-inch skillet till the butter foams. Place some liver slices in the skillet and cook for one minute on each side for a medium-rare texture (cook each side of turkey liver for two minutes in total).
For a medium-done texture, cook each side for three minutes.
For a well-done texture, cook each side for four minutes.
- After frying each batch, place the livers on a plate with a paper towel, wipe off the butter residue on the skillet and replace it with fresh butter.
It can take between two and eight minutes for the turkey liver to cook using this recipe. The texture is a major factor.
You can serve these pan-seared turkey livers with caramelized onions and bacon.
How to cook Minced Turkey Liver
- ½ teaspoon of salt,
- 3 liters of water,
- 400 g of turkey livers.
- Rinse the turkey livers in cold water. Add the three liters of water to a pot, place it on high heat, and allow it to boil.
- Add salt to the boiling water and follow up with the turkey livers. Bring the turkey livers to boil and simmer on medium heat for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Cool the liver on a plate, and then blend afterward.
The boiling process used to cook the turkey livers in this recipe causes the cooking time to exceed that of the previous recipe.
Also, the turkey livers are cooked whole here instead of sliced into thin pieces.
This minced turkey liver recipe is especially good for babies or people who cannot chew. You can serve as shown here.
How to Make Turkey Liver Roasts
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil,
- freshly ground black pepper,
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter,
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and chives,
- 8 turkey livers cut in halves (16 pieces),
- 2 peeled and chopped garlic cloves,
- toasted baguette slices.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the turkey livers and add the turkey livers to the skillet once the oil and butter smoke.
- Cook each side for about one and a half minutes for a medium-done finish. Then, add the chopped garlic, chives, and parsley towards the end of the cooking time and stir them in.
- Take out the turkey livers shortly after and place them on a plate. Divide each piece of the turkey livers into smaller pieces (three or four) and serve with toasted baguettes.
The cook time for the turkey liver in this recipe is around four minutes. It is shorter than the other two recipes because the oil and butter were allowed to reach their smoke point. When oil or cooking fat is at its smoke point, its temperature is often hotter than when the oil is only shimmering.
How do you Boil Turkey Liver?
Boiling turkey livers is the most straightforward and healthy way to cook turkey livers. Let us walk you through it.
- turkey livers,
- 1 onion (whole, peeled, and rinsed),
- herbs and spices,
- Thoroughly rinse the turkey livers and place a pot of cold water over high heat to boil. Once it boils, add the turkey livers and cook for twenty minutes on low heat. Then, add the onion whole and let it cook for another twenty minutes.
- Finally, add your preferred herbs and spices like salt, pepper, bay leaf, parsley, etc.
Best served with boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, or boiled vegetables.
Is Eating Liver Toxic?
Eating liver can be toxic for you. The common saying ‘too much of everything is dangerous’ comes to play here.
Eating large amounts of liver can cause Vitamin A toxicity, also known as hypervitaminosis A. Vitamin A toxicity occurs when your liver can not process the excess vitamin A it has been exposed to fast enough. Symptoms associated with vitamin A toxicity include nausea, vision issues, abdominal pain, irritability, drowsiness, bone pain, vomiting, and higher intensity of bone fractures.
Eating one serving of liver is often recommended if you do not have vitamin deficiencies to avoid developing hypervitaminosis A.
If you have a kidney issue, stay away from livers completely. If you’re on psoriasis or orlistat medication, seek your physician’s advice before eating livers.
Eating too much liver can lead to copper toxicity. With too much copper in the body, the brain, liver, and eyes are affected as the copper damages the cell nerves and kill the liver cells completely.
Symptoms associated with this issue include diarrhea and headaches. In severe cases, copper toxicity increases the risk of kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, and Wilson’s disease.
For your sake, do not consume liver every day. One serving of liver per week is an ideal amount.
Is Liver Good for your Heart?
Liver is good for your heart. It is one of those foods that make your heart happy, literally.
The chromium, copper, zinc, iron, and folic acid in livers are good for your heart and increase hemoglobin levels in the blood.
What Animal Liver can’t you eat?
It is unsafe to eat the livers of polar bears, bearded seals, mooses, huskies, and walruses. This is because the livers of these animals contain elevated levels of vitamin A which can lead to hypervitaminosis A.
Furthermore, ringed seals are not recommended for pregnant women because they have high mercury levels.
Also, puffer fish liver contains a high amount of tetrodotoxin, which makes it a bad addition to any diet.