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Turkey Necks

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Turkey necks are simmered to perfection in a Cajun-infused broth with smoked sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob. Elevate your soul food cooking with this flavorful and easy-to-follow Southern turkey neck boil recipe!

Hey y’all, we’re cooking up something special today – Turkey Necks, a classic soul food recipe from the heart of the South that Marrekus loves! It’s a popular dish that he grew up eating with his family all year long (but especially when crabs aren’t in season).

This Turkey Neck Boil is similar to a Cajun seafood boil, perfect when you’re in the mood for some spicy goodness. It’s paired with smoked sausage, potatoes, corn on the cob, and all the fixins’.

Whether you’re having a chill get-together or just missing some home-cooked flavors, this Turkey Necks recipe is the way to go. So, let’s get into it and cook up a taste of Southern comfort!

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • TENDER & MEATY – These necks are fall apart tender and very satisfying. The meatiness makes this a hearty and fulfilling meal.
  • FLAVOR – It has the perfect balance of spice, and the crab boil seasoning provides a subtle kick without overpowering the overall flavor. Not to mention the flavorful potatoes and sweet corn.
  • COMFORT FOOD – It’s a classic soul food dish that brings people together and will remind you of home down South.

Ingredients

  • Raw turkey necks
  • Seafood boil seasoning mix (we used Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil) 
  • Granulated onion
  • Granulated garlic
  • Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (start with less and adjust to taste if using any other type of salt)
  • Onions
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Jalapeño
  • Garlic
  • Smoked sausage
  • Red potatoes
  • Mini ears of extra sweet corn on the cob

Directions

  1. Rinse turkey necks under cold water to clean them, then set to the side.
  2. In a large pot, fill with water (about 4 quarts) and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add the seafood boil seasoning mix (we used Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil), granulated onion, granulated garlic, and kosher salt to the boiling water. You can adjust the amount depending on your taste preferences.
  4. Drop onions, lemon, orange, and jalapeño into the pot. Add garlic cloves and any optional spices you’d like to include for extra flavor.
  5. Add the turkey to the pot and allow the water to return to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer and let them cook until they are tender. This usually takes at least 2 hours.
  6. Meanwhile, place a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced smoked sausage to the pan and allow them to sear until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Once the sausages are browned, remove them from the skillet and set aside.
  7. Once the turkey is almost done, at about the 2 hour mark, add the potatoes and browned sausages to the pot. Continue simmering until the potatoes are cooked and the necks are tender, about 30 minutes more.
  8. Then, turn off the heat and add corn. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, or until corn is warmed through.
  9. When everything is cooked, strain the contents of the pot and transfer turkey necks, vegetables, and sausages to a serving platter. Wanna know what goes with turkey necks? Keep reading!

How Long to Boil Turkey Necks

Turkey necks take at least 2 hours to boil. Longer simmering times, up to 3 or 4 hours, can result in more tender and flavorful meat. Check for doneness after the first hour and a half by testing the meat’s tenderness. When they’re ready, they should be fork-tender (turkey meat pulling away from the bones).

How to Cook Turkey Necks (5 Different Ways)

People often ask how to cook turkey necks. They can be cooked in various ways to create flavorful and comforting Southern soul food dishes. Here are different methods you can use:

  • Boiling: A turkey neck boil is a popular Southern recipe. Similar to a seafood boil, simply add necks to a pot of water with spices, vegetables, and sausage, and simmer until the meat is tender.
  • Smoking: Smoking them can add a rich and smoky flavor to the meat. Smoked turkey necks are also a popular ingredient to add to many Southern and soul food dishes like collard greens, cabbage, black eyed peas, and pinto beans.
  • Slow Cooking (Crockpot): Slow cooking in a crockpot allows the flavors to meld over an extended period. Place the necks in the slow cooker with seasonings, vegetables, and liquid. Cook on low for several hours until the meat is tender.
  • Braised: Smothered turkey necks (slow-cooked or braised) are cooked in a flavorful, rich gravy until they are tender and infused with delicious flavors.
  • Pressure Cooking: If you have a pressure cooker, you can cook the necks quickly and efficiently. Add them to the pot, along with liquid and seasonings, to the pressure cooker. Cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the meat is tender.

What Goes Good with Turkey Necks?

When making a turkey neck boil, serve it with potatoes, corn, and sausages. Marrekus likes to also eat them with cornbread. Put everything on a large platter for a communal dining experience, similar to a seafood boil. Alternatively, you can plate it individually.

When making smoked or smothered necks, pair them with classic Southern soul food dishes like:

Storage and Reheating

Store turkey necks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, wrap in foil and warm them in the oven at a low temperature, around 300°F (150°C), until heated through. Avoid overcooking to preserve the tenderness of the meat.

FAQ

Can I use frozen turkey necks for the boil?

Yup! Just make sure they are fully thawed before cooking.

Should I remove the skin from the turkey necks before boiling?

Yes, use a sharp knife to trim away any loose or hanging excess skin, then discard.

Can I use a slow cooker for a turkey neck boil?

Absolutely! Cook in a crock pot on Low for 6-8 hours or until they are tender. Add the potatoes and sausages closer to the end of cooking.

Summary

In this Southern turkey neck boil recipe, the meaty turkey necks soak up a delicious Cajun-infused broth alongside smoked sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob. It’s a flavorful and easy-to-follow dish that captures the heart of soul food, bringing people together for a comforting and memorable dining experience.

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Turkey Necks

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: main course
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: southern, soul food

Description

Turkey necks are simmered to perfection in a Cajun-infused broth with smoked sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob. Elevate your soul food cooking with this flavorful and easy-to-follow Southern turkey neck boil recipe! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 36 pounds raw turkey necks
  • 6 ounces seafood boil seasoning mix (we used 1 and 1/2 (4-ounce) packs of Zatarain’s Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil) 
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (start with less and adjust to taste if using any other type of salt)
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced in half
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds red potatoes
  • 6 mini ears of extra sweet corn on the cobb (nibblers)

Instructions

  1. Rinse turkey necks under cold water to clean them.
  2. In a large pot, fill with water, about 4 quarts, and bring it to a boil.
  3. Add the seafood boil seasoning mix to the boiling water. (Add more or less depending on your taste preferences and the specific seasoning mix used).
  4. Stir in granulated onion, granulated garlic, and kosher salt. 
  5. Drop onions, lemon, orange, and jalapeño into the pot.
  6. Add garlic cloves, and any optional spices you’d like to include for extra flavor.
  7. Add turkey necks to the pot and allow the water to return to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let necks cook until they are tender. This usually takes at least two hours.
  9. Meanwhile, place a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced smoked sausage to the pan and allow them to sear until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Once the sausages are browned, remove them from the skillet and set them aside.
  10. Once necks are almost done, at about the 2 hour mark, add potatoes and browned sausages to the pot.
  11. Continue simmering until the potatoes are cooked and necks tender, about 30 minutes more.
  12. Then, turn off the heat and add corn. Let it sit for 10 minutes on the warm stovetop, or until corn is cooked through.
  13. When everything is cooked, strain the contents of the pot and transfer the turkey necks, vegetables, and sausages to a serving platter. Serve immediately.

Keywords: turkey necks, turkey neck boil, boiled turkey necks

4 Comments

  1. Back in the 30s and 40s my father had a turkey ranch in New Jersey. My parents had 5 kids so we ate lots of turkey eggs (that wouldn’t go into the floor model incubator), turkey feet, and turkey necks. The turkey themselves were sold to customers for the holidays. We got the whole turkey only if dad didn’t get them all sold. I remember mom making a similar dish using homemade venison sausage in the dish. Talk about nostalgia!

      1. Hello I’m excited about trying this recipe. I plan on using Crock Pot. The instructions say add liquid..How much water should I use?

        Thanks

      2. Hi Nikki! I would recommend about 6 cups or until just covered. I hope this helps and let us know how the turkey necks turns out in the crock pot!

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