There’s something about the aroma of roasted turkey that makes your mouth water and your heart full. While the turkey breast and legs often take center stage on Thanksgiving, turkey necks can also be a flavorful addition to your holiday feast. Plus, they’re an affordable and often overlooked cut of meat that can be transformed into a tasty dish with a few simple ingredients and some time in the oven. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to cook turkey necks in the oven, so you can impress your guests and satisfy your taste buds.
How Should I Wash My Turkey Necks?
To wash your turkey necks, start by rinsing them thoroughly under cold running water. Use your hands to rub the surface of the turkey necks to remove any dirt or debris. It’s important to wash the turkey necks before cooking them to ensure they are clean and safe to eat. However, do not wash the turkey necks with soap or any other cleaning products as this can contaminate the meat with harmful chemicals. After washing, pat the turkey necks dry with paper towels before seasoning and roasting them in the oven.
Is Eating Turkey Necks Healthy?
Turkey necks can be a healthy addition to your diet, as they are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are also relatively low in fat and calories compared to other cuts of meat. However, it’s important to keep in mind that turkey necks are also high in sodium, so if you are watching your sodium intake, it’s best to limit your consumption of this food.
Additionally, it’s important to note that the way you prepare the turkey necks can impact their overall nutritional value. For example, roasting them in the oven with a seasoning blend is a healthier option compared to frying them or adding excessive amounts of salt or butter.
As with any food, moderation is key, and it’s important to consume a balanced and varied diet that includes a variety of protein sources. If you have any specific dietary concerns or health conditions, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian.
How do I Know When The Turkey Necks Are Fully Cooked?
To know when the turkey necks are fully cooked, you can use a meat thermometer to check their internal temperature. The USDA recommends cooking all poultry, including turkey necks, to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure that they are safe to eat.
To check the internal temperature of the turkey necks, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, making sure to avoid touching any bones. If the temperature reads 165°F (74°C) or higher, the turkey necks are fully cooked and safe to eat.
In addition to using a meat thermometer, you can also check the doneness of the turkey necks by cutting into the meat and checking the color. The meat should be opaque and no longer pink, with clear juices running out. However, relying solely on the color is not as accurate as using a meat thermometer, so it’s best to use both methods to ensure that the turkey necks are fully cooked and safe to eat.
How long should I let the turkey necks rest before serving?
After removing the turkey necks from the oven, it’s important to let them rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful dish.
During the resting period, you can tent the turkey necks loosely with aluminum foil to keep them warm. This will also help to prevent the meat from drying out.
Once the resting period is over, use kitchen tongs to transfer the turkey necks to a serving platter, and serve them hot. You can pair them with your favorite side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or stuffing, for a complete and satisfying meal.
There are many delicious ways to serve oven-roasted turkey necks. Here are a few serving suggestions:
- As a main dish: Serve the turkey necks as a main dish, accompanied by your favorite side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or stuffing.
- In a sandwich: Shred the meat from the turkey necks and use it to make a hearty sandwich. You can add some lettuce, tomato, and your favorite condiments for a tasty lunch.
- In a soup or stew: Add the cooked turkey necks to a pot of soup or stew for added flavor and nutrition. You can also use the turkey necks to make a flavorful broth for your soup or stew.
- In a salad: Chop the cooked turkey necks and add them to a salad for a protein-packed lunch or dinner.
- As a snack: Serve the turkey necks as a tasty snack for game day or movie night.
No matter how you choose to serve them, oven-roasted turkey necks are a delicious and affordable addition to any meal.
How Do I store Leftover Turkey Necks?
To store leftover turkey necks, let them cool down to room temperature, then transfer them to an airtight container. You can store the turkey necks in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
If you’re storing the turkey necks in the refrigerator, make sure to use them within 3 days to ensure their freshness and safety. When reheating, make sure to heat them thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before eating.
If you’re freezing the turkey necks, make sure to label the container with the date and contents, and store them in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When reheating, thaw the turkey necks in the refrigerator overnight, then heat them thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before eating.
Note that while it’s safe to freeze and reheat turkey necks, the texture and flavor may change slightly, so it’s best to consume them fresh if possible.
Oven-Roasted Turkey Necks
- Large baking dish
- Aluminum foil
- Kitchen tongs
- 4-6 turkey necks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Rinse the turkey necks under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, and paprika.
- Rub the seasoning mixture all over the turkey necks, making sure they are well coated.
- Place the turkey necks in a large baking dish and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.
- Roast the turkey necks in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, or until they are tender and fully cooked.
- Remove the aluminum foil from the baking dish and continue to roast for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the turkey necks are golden brown.
- Using kitchen tongs, transfer the turkey necks to a serving platter and let them rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- If you prefer a spicier flavor, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the seasoning mixture.
- You can also add vegetables such as carrots, onions, and celery to the baking dish for a complete one-pan meal.
- Make sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the turkey necks are fully cooked. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C).
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
Now that you know how to cook turkey necks in the oven, you can add a new dish to your repertoire and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills. Whether you’re looking for a hearty addition to your Thanksgiving feast or a flavorful meal on a cold winter night, turkey necks are a versatile choice that won’t break the bank. With a little bit of time, patience, and love, you can turn this often overlooked cut of meat into a delicious and satisfying dish that will have everyone asking for seconds. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy the delicious flavors of roasted turkey necks.