How to cook boiled turkey necks so the meat is fork tender. Then enjoy as is or make into a delicious gravy for your holiday meal.
If you hate to waste food, you should try boiled turkey necks so you can get all the protein off your whole bird. It’s super flavorful dark meat packed with protein, calcium and nutrients. You can add it into gravy, soup or one of your favorite leftover turkey recipe.
How to Cook Turkey Necks
We first shared air fryer turkey necks the other day. Those get really crispy with a dry rub on the outside. Now it was time to get it as tender as possible so the meat just falls right off. The best way to do this with any protein is to submerge in boiling water for a while.
Since it’s going to be in there a good hour it is best to add some seasonings and a few pieces of produce. White or yellow onion, celery and carrots are the most commonly used for this or when boiling a whole chicken too. When done you can then use this homemade turkey broth of sorts in other recipes.
Boiling a Turkey Neck
Typically if you are cooking a whole or cut up raw turkey you will only get one of these. That will yield a bit of meat but if you want to make just this you can usually find some at your grocery store or local butcher shop.
They may be frozen, fresh, whole or cut into thirds in this case here. The timing doesn’t change much except that the more you add the lower the temp of the water will be so it would take longer.
It can be smoked, sauteed in a sauce on the stovetop, boiled like you see here or air fried. About half of it is meat and will fall off easily if submerged in boiling water for a little while. Then you can make gravy out of it, shred for sandwiches, or dice and add into your favorite casserole.
Dutch Oven Turkey Necks
If you have one of these babies it works quite well to keep a consistent temperature since it is made of cast iron. A large pot will work just as well but you’ll want a lid on it to keep it at a medium high heat. If you are going to use the broth later for something you’ll want a colander or sieve to strain the bits out of it.
How Long to Boil Turkey Necks
An hour is about what you’ll need to account for. Give or take 10 minutes here or there of course depending on how large they are.
If cut into smaller pieces it takes a bit less but set aside a good 60 minutes to get as moist as you see here. SO good y’all. You’ll need;
- 2-4 turkey necks
- Beef broth or turkey drippings, enough to submerge them
- Bay leaves
- Onion quartered
- Carrot peeled, cut into large pieces
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper if desired
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
If you want to use it ALL of it after removing your tender turkey necks you should go further. After that just use a strainer to remove small pieces left. Use the broth then to make a leftover turkey soup, to make mashed potatoes or turkey neck gravy (seen below).
Instant Pot Turkey Necks
If you wanted to do this same thing in your pressure cooker you could. It would of course be much faster and you would get the same outcome. For those instructions follow our Instant Pot turkey broth recipe. Works the same for chicken or this bird just the same.
Turkey Neck Recipe
Rinse pieces and cut into 2-3 inch pieces or leave whole. Add the turkey necks into the pot. Add chopped celery stalks, carrots, onion quarters, bay leave, seasonings, and pour in beef broth. Cover with a lid and cook for an hour on low heat.
- After an hour cooking time, the necks should be fully boiled
- If meat is tender enough to fall off the bone then it’s ready
- Remove the turkey necks from the broth and separate the meat from the neck bones.
- Transfer to a bowl to use as you wish. Inside soups or stew is great.
If you want to use the broth in the pot you’ll want to remove the remaining vegetables and bay leaves with a slotted spoon, discard. Strain the liquid through a sieve to remove smaller pieces. Use immediately or allow to cool and spoon out the solidified fat that rises to the top off. Store in jars with lids in the fridge to use within 4 days.
What we traditionally serve with this meat if it is left as is would be dolloped on top of a bed of taters with gravy and slow cooker collard greens on the side. There are complete instructions below. You can print recipe to keep on hand or come back whenever you need it.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Boiled Turkey Necks
- 1 dutch oven or pot with lid
- Rinse turkey necks and cut into 2-3 inch pieces or leave whole. Put them in the pot. Add chopped celery stalks, carrots, onion quarters, bay leave, seasonings, and pour in beef broth. Cover with a lid and cook for an hour on low heat.
- After an hour, the necks should be fully boiled, fall off the bone tender. Remove the turkey necks from the broth and separate the meat from the bones, transfer to a bowl to use as you wish.
- * If you want to use the broth in the pot – Remove the remaining vegetables and bay leaves with a slotted spoon, discard. Strain the remaining broth through a sieve to remove smaller pieces. Use immediately or allow to cool and spoon fat that rises to the top off and store in jars with lids in the fridge to use within 4 days.