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Turkey wings are an almost simpler way to enjoy a tasty turkey dinner, minus the trouble of having to dedicate an entire day in tackling a huge turkey. Whether you plan to make them for a Sunday dinner, or for a small party with all your friends and family, you’ll find them licking their fingers and reaching for the next turkey wing over and over again! Moreover, turkey wings are so easy to work with, they’d make a great option for weeknight meals as well! Turkey wings are juicy, meaty, and entirely delectable. Remove the bones and chomp the entire wing, or nibble around the edges, enjoying the succulent flavours in small bursts of unbeatable glee.
Table of Contents
- What are Turkey Wings?
- What’s so Special about Turkey Wings?
- What do They Taste Like?
- Whole Wings or Split?
- How To Bake Turkey Wings?
- How to get Crispy Skin?
- Should You Wash Your Turkey Wings?
- How to Thoroughly Clean Turkey Wings?
- Do You Have to Cover Your Turkey When Cooking?
- What to Serve with Turkey Wings?
- Baking Turkey Wings
What are Turkey Wings?
Turkey wings are deemed white meat but with a more richer, gamey flavour when compared to turkey breast. Turkey wings contain all the succulent flavours of whole roast turkey, without having to coat the entire bird in flavourings, before stuffing it into the oven. You can find whole turkey wings at the supermarket, or those that have been separated into wings and drumettes. Turkey wings also have a wing tip which are often included in the wing cut and trimmed off before cooking.
What’s so Special about Turkey Wings?
Many of us don’t like the hassle that comes with cooking an entire turkey, as well as those that do not eat the entire turkey, especially when having smaller families, having last weeks roast turkey still resting in the fridge, taking up the entirety of its space is not quite feasible.
We all know that turkey wings provide the depth of flavours, with an inexplicable juiciness that can never be obtained from a whole turkey, which makes them an absolutely perfect alternative. Turkey is considered a lean meat compared to most, with less calories, it can be paired with almost any dish.
What do They Taste Like?
Turkey wings are packed with dark, rich, juicy flavours and have a heartier texture compared to chicken wings. The skin crisps up beautifully for a pleasant crunch, followed by your teeth sinking into the soft juicy, yet oh so tender meat. Marinating turkey wings can help keep them moist and flavourful during cooking.
Whole Wings or Split?
Whole wings that are split into drums and flats will cook at a steady temperature. This is also great for browning the skin, making it beautifully crispy on the outside. The wing is made up of 3 parts: the drumette, the wingette and the wing tip. The drumette looks like a small drumstick and is more meaty and juicier. It’s mostly dark meat, and is slightly juicier than the wingette.
The wingette is often called the flat, is the middle section that is made of two bones running horizontally through the middle of it with meat in the middle. Because it’s thinner, this part crisps up easily when cooking them with the thicker drumette portions. The wing tip doesn’t contain much flavour, but you can set it aside, for the times that you plan to make some home made broth. You can separate the wings yourself by cutting at the elbow joint to separate the drum from the wingette.
How To Bake Turkey Wings?
Thoroughly seasoned and baked to perfection, these turkey wings will have you coming back for more in no time. In just a few steps you’ll have achieved a flavourful batch of turkey wings, oozing with juiciness. Serve these with your favourite veggies, and a side of thick, fluffy mashed potatoes for the perfect weekend dinner.
- 3 pound turkey wings
- 2 tbsp avocado oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Pat the turkey wings with a paper towel, then drizzle a little avocado oil over them
- Combine the salt, paprika, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder and onion powder in a small bowl then sprinkle this equally over the wings.
- Place the wings in a baking dish and pour chicken or turkey broth over them. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered
How to get Crispy Skin?
The wings are baked and covered at a lower temperature, in order to cook the turkey wings throughout. After the wings have baked for an hour and a half, remove them from the baking dish, adjust the heat on the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and then place a wire rack on top of it. Place the wings on the rack and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or crisp. The air flow will crisp the wings.
Should You Wash Your Turkey Wings?
When handling turkey meat, or any meat, you should run the pink flesh under some water, clearing away any excess fat. Usually there are evident strings of fat hanging off of the meat, which can easily be pulled off when washing and cleaning it. Other times, the meat just requires a good rinse before using it, as this will provide you with a cleaner aroma when cooking it, without a foamy dark liquid forming.
How to Thoroughly Clean Turkey Wings?
Place the turkey wings into the sink, then fill the sink with about 1 gallon of distilled vinegar, and use your hands to thoroughly clean the meat. Rinse the meat with warm water and pat it dry to remove excess water formed from cleaning the meat. Once it’s completely dry, rub it with oil before applying the seasoning.
Do You Have to Cover Your Turkey When Cooking?
While covering your turkey wings isn’t actually required, it is highly recommended to cover either turkey or turkey wings when baking in the oven. This will allow the meat to remain tender and moist as well as cook evenly, releasing delicious juices that can be scooped up when devouring the turkey wings.
What to Serve with Turkey Wings?
Turkey wings can most certainly be enjoyed as a standalone meal, especially with their addictive textures, moulding to your mouth, forcing you to grab another until your stomach begs you to stop. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying turkey wings on their own, there’s no reason to limit ones self when there’s so much to explore. Try some crispy veggie sides, fluffy rice, spiralling noodles, or a simple dip to amp up the decadent flavours. You want the taste and textures of the wings to seep into your sides so that you can make a meal out of it’s delicate flavours, an experiment worth the risk, that’s for sure! Take a look at some of the best side dish ideas:
- Smashed Potatoes
- Green Bean and Goat Cheese Salad
- Brussels Sprouts and Speck Gratin
- Couscous Salad
- Rocket Coleslaw
- Sweet Potato and Chive Damper
- Garlic Bread Sauce
- Stuffed Grape Leaves
These simple, yet elegant smashed potatoes are prepared in just five minutes, featuring the subtle flavours of bay leaf, with a gorgeous creaminess, that’ll wonderfully compliment the sensational textures of your turkey wings. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1kg small waxy potatoes
- 120ml extra virgin oil
- 6 fresh bay leaves torn
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan forced. Line a roasting pan with baking paper, season the potato and place it in a prepared pan. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring well to coat it then roast for 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and use a potato masher to squash the potatoes until they’re perfectly smashed. Add the bay leaves and remaining oil to the pan. Stir well and season again with salt and pepper, then return them to the oven for a further 20 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp and golden.
Scoop some of this creamy, fluffy goodness onto your plate, and enjoy it alongside your freshly cooked turkey wings.
Green Beans and Goat Cheese Salad
Green beans are a common favourite amongst veggie lovers, sautéed, roasted, or caramelised they pair perfectly with meats, and other savoury dishes. You can have them served warm with salty prosciutto and crunchy almonds. Here’s what you’re going to need for this recipe:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 small fresh red chilli seeded and finely chopped
- 6 slices prosciutto
- 400g green round beans
- 45g natural almonds, toasted coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh continental parsley
- 15g butter
- Heat some oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the onion and chilli for 3 minutes or until soft. Add the prosciutto and garlic. Stir for 3 minutes until fragrant
- Meanwhile, place beans in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set it aside for 3 minutes or until tender crisp then drain.
- Stir the beans and almonds into the prosciutto mixture for 2 minutes or until warmed through. Remove it from the heat, stir in the mint, parsley, and butter, then season with pepper.
Brussels Sprouts and Speck Gratin
Rich and textured, this gratin is a scrumptious addition to the table. The sprouts and speck are cooked in double cream with gruyere and a crunchy breadcrumb topping. And if that’s enough to get your mouth spilling drool, then check out the recipe below:
- 500g brussels sprouts
- 150g speck, rind removed and cut into batons
- 300ml double cream
- 75g coarsely grated gruyere
- 70g coarse fresh breadcrumbs, made from day old crusty bread
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan forced. Cook the brussels sprouts in a saucepan of boiling water for 3 minutes or until they’re tender/crisp. Drain and rinse under cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel.
- Cook the speck in a non-sticking frying pan over medium-high heat stirring often, for 7 minutes or until crisp and set aside
- Spray a 28cm oval ovenproof baking dish with oil. Arrange the brussels sprouts and speck in the prepared dish. Pour over the cream and season. Sprinkle over the cheese and cover the top evenly with breadcrumbs. Spray with oil and bake for 45 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cream has decreased.
Cranberries are the perfect partner to turkey, alongside the sweet red fruit stars in this flavoursome couscous salad. With orange slices that add much needed freshness, this sweet and spicy salad will pair deliciously with your juicy turkey wings. Find the recipe below:
- 150kg fresh chorizo sausage skin removed and diced
- 2 red onions cut into wedges
- 500ml Massel chicken style liquid stock
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 310ml orange juice
- 570g couscous
- 140g dried cranberries
- 140g pistachio kernels, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander
- 60ml extra virgin olive oil
- Heat a large non stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring often for 2-3 minutes or until crisp and the oil is released. Use a spoon to transfer the contents into a bowl. Add onion to the pan, cook stirring often for 10 minutes or until slack. Add the onion to chorizo.
- Meanwhile, place the stock, cinnamon, salt and 250ml of the orange juice in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Add couscous, stir once then remove it from the heat. Cover and set it aside allowing it to absorb for 10 minutes. Use a fork to separate the grains. Add the couscous, cranberries, pistachios and coriander to the chorizo mix. Then mix until well combined.
- Whisk the oil and remaining orange juice in a small bowl, add it to the couscous salad tossing it gently to combine.
A salad lovers treat, this coleslaw adds a little crunch with the inclusion of peppery baby rocket, serve this with your freshly cooked turkey wings, for ultimate flavoured bombs of delight! Here’s what you’re going to need:
- 1/2 red baby cabbage finely shredded
- 1/4 small green cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 small carrots, peeled and grated
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 80g baby rocket
- 2 tbsp chopped gherkins
- 1/2 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Place the cabbage, carrot, onion, rocket and gherkin in a large bowl.
- Combine mayonnaise and lemon juice in a small jug. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle some dressing over the salad, tossing it gently to combine. Serve with a fresh hot plate of turkey wings, for maximum enjoyment.
Sweet Potato and Chive Damper
Damper can be made from scratch in under an hour, served straight out of the oven, making it a creative alternative to bread at the dinner table. For this recipe we’re going to blend sweet potatoes, with fresh chives and parsley, here’s what you’ll need:
- Flour for dusting
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 60g butter chopped
- 1 cup mashed orange sweet potato
- 3/4 cup milk, plus extra for brushing
- 1/4 cup fresh chives finely chopped
- 1/4 fresh flat leaf parsley leaves finely chopped
- Butter, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C. Dust a baking tray with some flour. Combine self-raising flour and salt in a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add mashed sweet potato, milk, chives and parsley. Using a butter knife stir the mixture until a sticky dough forms, adding a little extra milk if necessary. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth. Shape the dough into a 20cm circle. Place it on a prepared tray.
- Lightly brush the top of the dough with a little extra milk. Sprinkle some sea salt and cracked black pepper. Using a sharp knife scrape the top of the damper into 8 wedges. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and hollow when tapped. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter.
Stuffed Grape Leaves
An ideal snack or perfect side dish to have with some rich and delicious turkey wings. A humble leaf stuffed with beautiful fillings. These edible leaves are used in this dish to hold fragrant rice filing, these leaves are commonly featured in Middle Eastern cuisine. Their mild, tangy taste act as a sponge, soaking up all the scrumptious flavours from the herby rice filling. Here’s what you’ll need to make this wonderful side dish:
- 1 pound of grape leaves
- 1/3 cup diced onions
- 1 1/2 cup rice
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 cup water
- 1 lemon sliced
- Start by washing the rice until the water runs clear, then drain and set it aside. In a saucepan add the olive oil, then add diced onions and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the rice. Then add in the freshly chopped mint, black pepper, red pepper flakes and salt and pine nuts. Stir to combine then add water. If you don’t want to use water you can use vegetable stock for extra flavours.
- Remove the rice from the pan and set it aside to cool down, fluffing it once its done cooking. Working with one grape leaf at a time, add a small amount of rice almost at the edge of the leaf – allowing you to tightly roll the leaf and rice like a wrap. To roll start with one side by folding it over the rice then repeat with the next side. Then from the edges close to you, roll upwards slightly keeping the sides tight, roll to the top of the leaves and place it down.
- Add the lemon slices and water, cooking on medium low heat for an additional 15 minutes or until the water has almost vanished.
- Serve alongside your main meal consisting of freshly cooked turkey wings, and enjoy!
Baking Turkey Wings
Cooking whole turkey wings, drumette or wingette will determine how much flavour you’d be getting from the meat. Whilst wingette’s have a flat surface, they’re certainly great at absorbing all the beautiful flavours. Combine your favourite seasonings and let it seep into the flesh of the turkey wings, ready to cook and transform the former slippery skin, into a crispy plate of heaven.
Do You Bake a Turkey Covered or Uncovered?
The best way to achieve that perfect balance, is to let the bird spend its time both covered and uncovered. Cover the meat for the most part of cooking time to prevent it from drying out, then remove the cover when 30 minutes are remaining, allowing the skin to crisp.
How Long Do You Bake Smoked Turkey Wings in The Oven?
Smoked turkey wings should be cooked for 15 minutes per pound, then checked with a meat thermometer if they’re thoroughly cooked, with an internal temperature of 165F indicating that its cooking time has been complete.
How Long Do You Cook a Turkey at 350?
The length of cooking time required to cook your turkey varies, depending on the weight of the bird. Try roasting your turkey at 350F for 13 minutes per pound, for an unstuffed turkey.
What to do With Wings of Turkey When Cooking?
When cooking the entire turkey, you will need to fold the wings of the bird underneath its back, lowering the turkey back down and doing the same with the other side. By tucking the wings you’ll prevent it from burning and making a mess, as a result the turkey will remain in place.