Frank's smuddered turkey necks

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 31, 2011 at 1:14 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 13 at 3:00 PM

Frank Davis / Fishing Expert

½ cup peanut oil, as needed 3-4 pounds turkey neck pieces, silverskin removed
1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon black pepper, coarse grind
1 teaspoon red pepper
2 teaspoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
3 teaspoons Frank Davis Poultry Seasoning
2 cups Crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cups yellow onions, finely diced
1 cup celery, finely diced
3/4 cup bell peppers, finely diced
6 cloves fresh garlic, mashed
1/4 cup flatleaf parsley, minced
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocktail sherry
1/2 cup chicken stock, as needed
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
6 cups cooked rice or pan-sautéed grits squares

First, take a heavy cast iron Dutch oven (about a 5-quart size will do) and set it on the stovetop over medium-high heat.

Then drop in the peanut oil and bring it to “almost smoking”—this is the degree the temperature must be in order to sear the necks and seal in the juices.

While the oil is heating, generously sprinkle the turkey necks with the salt, black pepper and red pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic, poultry seasoning, and basil.

Then a few at a time, drop them into the hot oil and fry them down until they are richly browned.

When they’re just right, remove them from the pot and allow them to drain on several layers of paper towels or a cooling rack.

Immediately upon removing the necks, place the mushrooms into the pot and fry them down until they, too, reach a golden-brown color.

Then immediately thereafter toss in the onions, bell pepper, and garlic and fry down these seasonings as well until they wilt, soften, and pick up the rich brown color of the mushrooms.

Now here is where this dish comes together—au natural!

At this point, while continually stirring the pot, drop in the parsley, green onions, Worcestershire, Kitchen Bouquet, and all-purpose flour. Then place the necks back into the pot and stir, stir, stir everything together until the necks are uniformly and evenly coated with the flour and seasonings.

At this stage of the recipe you start the natural gravy going. To do that, just blend in the sherry and the chicken stock (and I’d use the entire amount of both), drop in the bay leaves, and sprinkle on the paprika.

Then mix everything together one more time, tightly cover the pot, and slide it into a pre-heated 350-degree oven. What you want to do is roast the necks inside the cast iron until they are succulently tender and bubbling in their own juices.

It should take about an hour and a half or so (adding a little extra wine or chicken stock as needed) to finish the necks to “fall-off-the-bone” tenderness.

But as soon as they’re done, be sure to serve them piping hot over a mound of steamed rice to savor the full flavor of the gravy. Of course, a little bowl of smothered green beans and a pan of cornbread wouldn’t hurt none!

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Chef’s Notes:

1. The neck bones create their own gravy in the Dutch oven as they cook. So try to avoid adding too much wine or chicken stock at the outset. It could result in a watery gravy when the dish is done.

2. This recipe can be prepared on top of the stove, but that requires constant attention so that the turkey necks don’t stick to the pot and burn on the bottom. Personally, I think you get the best results in the oven and it’s the easy way to go.

3. Like red beans, jambalaya, and gumbo, this recipe is good when it’s first cooked, better the next day, and best two days down the line.

4. An age-old N’Awlins variation to this recipe is to substitute pan-toasted cheesy grits squares for the steamed rice. With the gravy ladled over the top of the grits, you got a real down-home Southern treat.

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