I’d never heard of a quenelle until a few years ago (okay, it was a decade…now I feel old) when my sister and I took our mom to a French cooking class in NYC as a Christmas gift. We made some really funky things, and I was introduced to things I likely would have never tried that night…including Sweet Breads, which is totally unrelated to bread, as my sister gleefully pointed out to me as I chewed. Another new food was quenelles (I like to describe these as “poached meat dumplings), and the ones we made there involved chicken and truffles. At the time, I found them quite bland, so I went the aforementioned decade without thinking about quenelles again.
Fast forward to just after Thanksgiving (and our $0.39/lb Black Friday turkeys), and after Breaking them Down, we were left with three Giblet Bags. Given our distaste for waste and the sometimes unpleasant textures of various giblet bits (I’m looking at you, gizzard), I figured I’d give quenelles another try since they completely transform the texture of the meat. The next hurdle to get around was the flavour blandness imprinted in my memory. To do that, we relied heavily on fresh herbs, lots of garlic, and salt and pepper. Luckily, it worked, and my kid told me I’m allowed to make these again any time! My wife also told me that I’m allowed to make them any time, but she added a caveat that I also need to cook her something else when I do. I count that as a win.
**Note, we took some liberties with the name, as quenelles generally have heavy cream in them, and we did not use that. These are a little more akin to a meatball masquerading as a quenelle.
Time: 25 Minutes
- 1 Pack of Turkey Giblets from the bird
- 1 Egg
- A couple of Garlic Cloves
- A few sprigs of Thyme
- Black Pepper
- 6 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour
- Bread Crumbs (amount TBD to get to the right texture)
- Sauce of your choice. We used a Honey Dijon Mustard, but other good options would be (in alphabetical order):
- BBQ Sauce
- Cranberry Jelly
- Garlic Sage Aioli (mix garlic, ground sage, and mayonnaise together)
- Turkey Gravy
- Worcestershire Aioli (mix Worcestershire, ground mustard seed, and mayonnaise together)
- Remove your giblets from the bag, rinse them, pat them dry, and cut them into cubes.
- Place your cubed giblets into your food processor, and add in your egg, garlic cloves, thyme, salt, pepper, and flour. Pulse until you have a paste.
- Scoop your giblet concoction into a large bowl, and add bread crumbs a little bit at a time. Fold them in until your mixture holds together well.
- Bring a wide pot of water to a boil, and then drop the heat to low.
- When your water is ready, working one quenelle at a time, use two spoons to scoop and form your quenelle into what I’ll describe as an egg shape, and then carefully drop it into your water to poach. Continue on to the next one, and do this until all of your quenelles are in the water.
- Poach for about 5-6 minutes, and then use a slotted spoon to remove your quenelles from the water.
- Plate, Devour, and Enjoy!