Smothered Turkey Wings

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Smothered turkey wings. Think biscuits and gravy, but with turkey wings instead of sausage and mashed potatoes instead of biscuits, and you’ll be in the vicinity of how gloriously rich and delicious this dish is.

Do you love turkey? Do you find chicken wings irresistible? Have you ever picked up a package of turkey wings wondering what wonderful goodness you could make with them? That’s me, by the way, and here is what I made with the turkey wings that were calling my name in the store the other day.

My father liked them so much he begged the recipe from me just so he could eat them again. Even though he forgot to tent the wings with foil until halfway through (don’t do that), they still were amazing.

Smothered Turkey Wings

Smothered turkey wings are a staple of the south. And as the case with most regional specialties, everyone has their way of doing it.

In this recipe, we slow roast the wings in a low oven for a couple of hours, until fall apart tender, and then finish them in the broiler for some crispy skin and browning. While the wings are roasting, we make stock from the wing tips (or an extra wing if your wings didn’t come with tips). We make a roux gravy with this stock to smother the turkey wings when done.

It’s rich, crazy good, and definitely not diet food. But for comfort on a cold day? The best.

Smothered Turkey Wings Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

You'll need the turkey wing tips to make turkey stock for the gravy. If your turkey wings didn't come with the tips, use an extra turkey wing (drumette and flat) for making the stock.

Ingredients

Turkey Wings:

  • 6 whole turkey wings (about 5 pounds), or 7 turkey wings without the tips
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt

Stock:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 half onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Gravy:

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 3 cups of turkey stock (that you make in step...)
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup cream

 

Method

1 Prep the turkey wings: Use poultry sheers or a sharp knife to separate each turkey wing into 3 segments—drumette, flat, and tip. Set aside the tips for making stock.

Smothered Turkey Wings

2 Slow roast the turkey wings: Place turkey wing drumettes and flats, skin side up, onto a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.

Cover with aluminum foil and put into a 275°F oven for 2 1/2 hours.

3 Make the stock: While the turkey wing drumettes and flats are roasting, make stock with the tips. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium, thick-bottomed pot on medium high heat. Add the turkey wing tips and let them brown on all sides.

Add the chopped carrot, onion, and celery, and sauté them for a few minutes with the wings.

Add 3 cups of water, enough to cover the wings and vegetables, and salt. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to a low simmer on the lowest setting. Cover and let simmer while the wings roast in the oven, a couple of hours.

4 Strain the stock: When the wings are close to being done, strain the stock so you can start making the gravy. Remove and discard the largest solids from the pot. Then strain the rest of the stock through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve the stock for the next step.

5 Make the gravy: Make a roux by melting 3 Tbsp butter in a medium sized, thick-bottomed pot, on medium heat. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Let the roux cook and bubble for a minute or so.

Slowly whisk in the turkey stock you made in steps 3 and 4, whisking constantly to break up any lumps.

Whisk in the mustard, salt, pepper, and thyme. Whisk in the cream. Let simmer on low heat to thicken.

6 Broil the wings to brown them: After 2 1/2 hours of slow cooking in the oven, the turkey wings should be fall apart tender (if not, you can leave them in longer until they are).

Remove the foil and place the wings on a rack a few inches under the broiler. Broil for 5 minutes or so, until the wing skin gets somewhat browned.

7 Scrape the wing roasting pan drippings into the gravy: You don't have to do this, but it will add even more flavor to your gravy. If the drippings are really stuck to the pan, place the roasting pan on your stovetop and turn on the burners under the pan.

Add a cup of water to the pan and use a metal spatula to scrape up the drippings. Pour them off into the pot with the gravy.

To serve, pour the gravy over the wings. Serve with a side of mashed potatoes, root vegetables, or cauliflower.

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4 Comments

  1. Susan Walter

    I don’t think I can get turkey wings where I live in France, but I can get duck wings quite easily. They would benefit from this long slow cooking so the next time I have some I’ll try to remember this recipe. They usually come as part of a pack with legs. I always think it’s a way of getting rid of them and enticing people by including the legs, which are easy to cook and have a lot more meat on them.

  2. Sara @ Last Night's Feast

    This looks so comforting!

  3. Barb

    how would cook these in a slow cooker

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Barb, good question! I don’t know. I guess you could cook the wings in the slow cooker until tender and broil them to get browned at the end. No idea on the time.

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