If you’re looking for a delicious and budget-friendly meat option, turkey tails can be your best bet.
They are savory, delicious, and above all, take a few minutes of preparation time. But to add a twist to your recipe, you can pair them up with rice or collard greens.
Listed below are two scrumptious recipes featuring smoked turkey tails that will definitely make your mouth water.
Table of Contents
How to Make Smoked Turkey Tails With Collard Greens
Here’s the thing about greens: You should either cook them delicious or not cook them at all. So, this turkey tail recipe with collard greens ensures you keep yours flavorful.
Whether you’re inviting the guests over or preparing one for yourself, this particular recipe is the way to go. Here’s a detailed preparation guide.
- 7-8 smoked turkey tails
- 1 small diced onion
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 6 bunches of collard greens
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon creole seasoning
- Add water to a pot and submerge the turkey tails.
- Cover the lid and cook them for 30-35 minutes.
- Remove the meat from the turkey tails with two folks.
- Add all the ingredients (except dry seasoning) in the pot followed by turkey meat and cook for an hour.
- When the greens get tender, add dry seasonings and cook for 20 minutes.
- Drizzle some spicy sauce and enjoy.
How to Make Smoked Turkey Tails
1) Prepare the Turkey Tails
If you’ve bought frozen turkey tails, make sure you thaw them and rinse them thoroughly. Then add water to a large pot and submerge the tails in it.
Cover the pot and cook the tails for 30-35 minutes on medium heat.
As soon as the turkey tails get soft, remove them from the pot.
2) Remove the Meat
Since you’ll pair the turkey tails with collard greens, this recipe doesn’t include whole tails added in the greens.
You need to remove the meat from the bone.
For that purpose, you can take two folks and remove the meat. Then, set this meat aside on a plate until you prepare the greens.
3) Clean Collard Greens
Collard greens grow in sand, and it’s important to wash all the debris before you cook.
Even store-bought greens can have traces of dirt on them, and it’s essential to get rid of any sand or dirt.
The best way to wash collard greens is to clean your sink, fill it up with water, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and submerge your collard greens in it.
Make sure that the water is cold; otherwise, your greens will wilt. Let your greens submerge for an hour. After an hour, drain the sink water and rinse them with cold water.
To test whether or not they’re cleaned properly, fill a bowl with water and add your greens to it.
If the water remains clean, it indicates that you washed the greens properly. If it turns murky, you need to repeat the procedure.
4) Cut the Greens
After cleaning the greens, make sure you pat them dry with a paper towel.
Then, stack a few together, and cut them into small pieces.
5) Cook Collard Greens
Add vinegar, sauce, chopped onions, brown sugar, oil, chopped greens, and water to a pot followed by smoked meat.
Cook the greens for an hour.
6) Add Seasonings and Eat Up!
After an hour, add dry seasonings and cook for 20 minutes until the taste of seasonings absorbs completely.
If you like your food spicy, you can drizzle some hot sauce on the top and enjoy!
Smoked Turkey Tails With Rice
If you’re not a fan of greens, you can try smoked turkey tails with rice. Here’s an easy yet delicious recipe for smoked turkey tails.
- 7-8 smoked turkey tails
- 2 stalks chopped celery
- 1/2 chopped green bell pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
- 1 chopped onion
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Melt the butter in a stockpot and add onions, celery, and pepper.
- Cook the onions for 5 minutes.
- Place the smoked turkey tails in a roasting pan.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add onion powder, thyme, and garlic powder to the sauce and pour over each turkey tail.
- Cover the pot with aluminum foil or lid
- Cook for 2 hours.
- Uncover and stir the tails. Cover again and cook for about an hour.
- Remove the tails and spread them on a bed of rice
- Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy.
Making Smoked Turkey Tails with Rice
Here are the details:
1) Saute the Onions
Begin by melting butter in a stockpot. Then add chopped onion, celery, peppers and cook until onions turn soft and translucent.
This process will take no longer than 5 minutes. Make sure you keep the flame on medium heat.
2) Prepare the Roux
To prepare the roux, you’ll need to add 4 cups of flour. Then, stir the mixture until the roux turns light brown in color.
Now add the chicken stock or broth and mix until the roux gets dissolved into the liquid.
Keep on whipping until the sauce begins to thicken.
3) Prepare the Smoked Turkey tails.
Before you place smoked turkey tails in the oven, you need to follow two essential steps.
First, you have to preheat your oven to 350°F. Second, you need to marinate the smoked turkey tails, of course.
All you need to do is place the tails in a large roasting pan and add onion powder, garlic powder, and dry thyme into the sauce.
Now pour the sauce over the turkey tails.
4) Cook the Tails
After marinating the tails, place the roasting pan in your preheated oven. Make sure you cover the pot with aluminum foil or a lid.
Cook the tails for about 2 hours. After the specified time has gone by, uncover the smoked turkey tails and stir them gently.
Then, cover the lid again and cook for another hour. Remove the pan from the oven and spread the tails on white rice.
If you do not like boiled rice, you can go for garlic rice.
4) Garnish and Enjoy
Lastly, sprinkle fresh chopped parsley on the dish and enjoy.
Smoked Turkey Tails FAQs
Smoked turkey tails are loved by many. They are delicious, easy to cook and take less prep time. Here are a few frequently asked questions by turkey tail lovers.
What’s the Best Thing About Smoked Turkey Tails?
The best thing about turkey tails is that they are versatile and can be enjoyed in many different ways, and still taste great.
You can bake, fry, roast, or smoke them, however, you prefer.
Also, you can try different recipes and play with a range of seasonings. We shared two popular turkey tail recipes in our guide. However, you can also try turkey tails with macaroni shells or prepare sashimi.
Here’s a quick look into both recipes.
Preheat your oven to 350°F and bake the turkey tails with chopped onions. Add your favorite seasonings followed by macaroni shells.
Once the macaroni is done, add your favorite greens (spinach or collards) and place them in the oven. Make sure you cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil.
Now bake for about 45 minutes, and there you have it! Delectable turkey legs with macaroni shells.
Dip the tails in boiling water for 7-8 seconds and immediately transfer them to ice-cold water. Now separate the meat from the bone with a fork.
Thinly slice the meat and dip it in soy sauce with a splash of vinegar, sesame seeds, ginger, and minced garlic.
If you’re a sushi lover, I bet you’ll love this recipe!
How to Heat Cooked Turkey Tails?
As the name suggests, cooked turkey tails are already “cooked.” You only need to heat them. If they are frozen, make sure you thaw them in your refrigerator.
Then, keep them at room temperature for 20 minutes. After this, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the tails in a pan with some water.
The water will ensure that the tails don’t turn dry. For 3-4 turkey tails, 45 minutes of heating will do. However, 7-8 turkey tails will take longer.
How Long Does It take to Boil Turkey Tails?
Generally, it takes around 2 hours for turkey tails to turn soft and tender. Nevertheless, the time can vary depending on the size of the turkey. The smaller the turkey, the lesser time it takes to boil.
Are Turkey Tails Healthy?
Unfortunately, they aren’t as healthy as you think. Though most people recommend turkey over pork because the latter is rich in nutrients and low in calories, turkey tails, however, are not the same as the turkey itself.
Yes, they are delicious and cheap but are full of fat and high in cholesterol. Therefore, eating turkey tails more frequently can lead to obesity.
Final Words about Smoked Turkey Tails
Smoked turkey tails are a great instant snack. They are easy to prepare and taste great. We shared two quick recipes of turkey tails that are perfect for busting those unpredictable cravings!