Smothered Turkey Wings – Slow-cooked to perfection and smothered in a rich, savory gravy, these succulent turkey wings are the ultimate. Each bite is a burst of flavor that will have you smacking your lips in delight. A comfort-food twist perfect for the holidays or any day.
My auntie was passionate about bold, flavorful dishes that many call soul food. And I’ve continued to search for unique recipes that deliver bold flavor. So I was thrilled to discover smothered turkey wings.
Do you sometimes find yourself in a food rut? Then hey, these meaty turkey wings make a terrific alternative to chicken wings for inspiration. And they’re usually on sale around the holidays, so I stock up and freeze them for a fast, cheap meal.
What Are They?
What Are Smothered Turkey Wings?
Smothering is a Cajun and Creole cooking technique that transforms cheap cuts of meat into drool-worthy meals. The meat is slow-cooked in its own juices until tender and then served over rice. And, of course, everything (aka turkey wings) gets smothered in rich, homemade gravy.
- Turkey Wings – A bit bigger and meatier than chicken wings, and the best part of the turkey, if you ask me.
- Seasonings – Creole seasoning, turkey seasoning, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne powder infuse the turkey wings with bold, rich flavors. Then yellow onions and bell pepper add subtle sweetness and tang.
- Roux – Butter is the ideal fat for making the perfect rue, and all-purpose flour turns into a delicious gravy when the next ingredient is added.
- Broth increases the overall depth of flavor and creates a flavorful gravy.
- Cream – For a truly decadent gravy, heavy cream is unbeatable.
How to Make Smothered Turkey Wings
- Prep Wings – Drizzle turkey wings with oil and rub it in with clean hands or a brush. Generously season turkey wings with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. (Photo 1)
- Combine Seasoning – In a small mixing bowl, add Creole seasoning, turkey seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix ingredients together until thoroughly combined. (Photo 2)
- Season Turkey – Sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the turkey wings and rub it on them to coat evenly. (Photo 3)
- Bake – Transfer turkey wings to the prepared baking pan on a single layer. Add the onions and bell peppers to the pan. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. While the turkey wings are baking, prepare the gravy. (Photo 4)
- Melt Butter – Melt butter in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
- Saute Veggies – Add onion, garlic, and thyme once the butter has melted. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. (Photos 5-6)
- The Rue – Next, add a tablespoon of the remaining turkey seasoning and flour, stir to thoroughly combine, and cook until the raw flour taste is gone (about 2 minutes). (Photo 7)
- Add Liquid – Pour in the chicken broth while whisking, and then add heavy cream and continue whisking until combined. (Photo 8)
- Simmer – Cook the gravy for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.
- Smother – Pour gravy on the turkey wings in the baking pan, cover the pan with foil again, and bake for 25-30 more minutes or until the wings are tender and cooked through. (Photos 9-10)
- Serve – Serve over warm rice or mashed potatoes and enjoy!
- Try using smoked turkey wings for a delicious smoky BBQ flavor.
- Give your wings a zesty, bright kick by adding lemon zest and fresh minced garlic to your seasoning mix.
- Add your favorite mushrooms to the saucepan to make a super savory mushroom gravy for your turkey wings.
Tips and Tricks
- Brine these babies for more tender, flavorful wings. Make your wet brine and soak your turkey wings for 4-5 hours or overnight. Then pat them dry before baking. Or you can dry brine them by rubbing them with salt and sliding some under the skin.
- Use a Dutch oven or slow cooker for cooking the wings nice and slow for some super juicy and tender turkey.
- Did the gravy turn out a little lumpy?🤦🏿♀️ Blitz it in the blender for smooth-as-silk gravy to smother your turkey wings. No one will ever know.
You can make this deliciousness a day or two ahead, then reheat it in the oven for a quick and impressive meal. You can also store the turkey wings and gravy separately, then assemble and bake when ready to enjoy.
Serving and Storage Instructions
This succulent smothered turkey wings recipe is best served hot with a heaping side of mashed potatoes and some green beans.
Leftovers last in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or 3-6 months in the freezer. Reheat it in a 350℉/177℃ oven or a saucepan on the stovetop with a splash of water or stock.
Of course! The cooking time will be shorter for boneless cuts of meat than for the wings.
They sure will, but thaw them in the fridge overnight before starting. You want them to cook evenly and to the bone.
This can happen if they’re undercooked or overcooked. An instant-read meat thermometer will tell you when the wings are cooked perfectly to an internal temperature of 165℉/75℃.
What to Serve With Smothered Turkey Wings
More Soul-Satisfying Southern Recipes to Try
Smothered turkey wings are super easy and flavorful, thanks to the rich gravy. Would you like to stay up to date with my latest recipes? Then follow me on Instagram for the latest and greatest.😍
Watch How to Make It
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Smothered Turkey Wings
The Turkey Wings
- 3 pounds (1.5kg) turkey wings, split into flats and drums (take off wing tips)
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (7g) Creole seasoning (reserve a tablespoon of the seasoning for the gravy)
- 1 tablespoon (7g) turkey seasoning
- 1 teaspoon (2g) smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons (3g) garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons (2.5g) onion powder
- ½ teaspoon (.5g) cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ large yellow onion, sliced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
- 4 ounces (113g) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon (3g) garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon (1g) fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon seasoning, reserved from the turkey
- 2 tablespoons (17g) flour
- 2 cups (450g) chicken broth
- ½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
- Pan drippings from turkey wings
- Salt and pepper to taste
The Turkey Wings
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/177℃. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Rinse the turkey wings and pat dry with paper towels.
- Drizzle turkey wings with oil and rub it in using a clean hand or a brush. Generously season turkey wings with salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Mix Creole seasoning, turkey seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper in a small mixing bowl until fully combined.
- Sprinkle the mixed seasoning over the turkey wings and rub the wings to coat evenly.
- Transfer turkey wings to the prepared baking pan on a single layer. Add the onions and bell peppers to the pan. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and bake for about 1-1 hour and 15 minutes.
- While the turkey wings are baking, prepare the gravy.
- Melt butter in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the butter has melted, add onion, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add a tablespoon of the remaining mixed turkey seasoning and flour, stir to fully combine, and cook out the raw flour taste (about 2 minutes).
- Pour in the chicken broth while whisking, add heavy cream, and continue whisking until completely combined.
- Cook the gravy for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.
- Pour gravy on top of the turkey wings in the baking pan, cover the pan with foil again, and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the wings are tender and cooked through.
- Serve over warm rice or mashed potatoes, and enjoy!