Most of us cherish the food we ate as children. When I was a little girl, I loved eating chicken necks, despite them not having much meat. As an adult, I learned that turkey necks have a similar flavor and more meat!
Some of you might think I am crazy for cooking with turkey necks, but I am certain that this recipe will change your mind. Growing up in Ukraine, I was taught that every part of the animal has its place on the dinner table. When prepared properly, turkey necks are a wonderful, fall-off-the-bone comfort food!
Seared and then roasted in the oven, these turkey necks are perfect to indulge in on a cold winter day. The neck is the best part of the bird, so underrated and underutilized in cooking! Prepare some mashed potatoes or white rice to accompany the necks, or eat them fresh out of the oven all on their own.
How to Make Turkey Necks
You may be feeling a bit intimidated to take on cooking turkey necks. Don’t fret! It’s super easy and very similar to roasting any other type of meat.
First, you will brown the turkey necks on a hot skillet. Then, you will place the browned necks in a cast iron skillet with some fresh carrots and onions and bake them for about one and a half hours. When you pull your turkey necks out of the oven, the meat will fall off the bone and become extremely tender.
Keeping Turkey Necks Tender
The key to keeping turkey necks tender is to add a cup of hot water to your cast iron skillet (or any oven-safe skillet) before you place it in the oven. Creating a slow boil in the oven will ensure that your turkey necks do not become rubbery and burn. The added liquid will also create a yummy gravy!
Other Ways to Cook Turkey Necks
Now that you are in love with turkey necks (right?!), get creative and try cooking them differently! Here are a couple of my favorite ways to prepare turkey necks:
- Smoked Turkey Necks: Often times, you can find pre-smoked turkey necks at the butcher. These have an awesome flavor and are the perfect compliment to stews or chilis.
- Turkey Necks in a Smoked Cooker: Have a smoker at home? Smoke your own turkey necks! Set your smoker to 180F and let the necks cook for 2-4 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone. Think of these smoked necks as an adventurous departure from traditional smoked chicken wings!
- Turkey Neck Soup: My boys love turkey neck soup. Much like chicken noodle soup, it is so comforting and the perfect dish to make when someone is feeling under the weather.
- Turkey Necks Gravy: Turkey neck meat is dark, flavorful, and perfect to build a gravy from. Make a batch and smother it over just about anything!
Note: You can find turkey necks in most, large grocery stores, although not every store carries them.
Other Turkey Recipes
- Optionally, cut turkey necks into smaller pieces.
- Dice the onion into half rings, then clean carrots and cut them into large pieces.
- In a hot, oiled skillet, cook the turkey necks until browned on all sides. Remove them from the skillet and set aside.
- Cook onion in the same skillet, until it's slightly browned.
- Season meat and vegetables with salt, add one cup of hot water to the dish, cover it with a lid. Place it in an oven at 350F to bake for 1.5 hours or until the meat begins to separate from the bone.
- Serve turkey necks with potatoes, rice or simply on their own, while they are still warm.