Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 219

Smoked Turkey Neck: Today's new food is something I'd noticed on my last several trips to Your Dekalb Farmers Market, but for some reason, I passed it by each time. That changed yesterday when the GF finally talked me into getting one, and despite its unappetizing appearance, I went ahead and gave it a shot. Most of us have eaten a lot of turkey breast during their lives, but how many can say they've tried turkey neck?

Despite being labeled as "smoked," it almost looked like it hadn't been cooked, which disturbed me. I asked the counter attendant if it had been cooked, and after he confirmed that it had, I asked him to bag me one. The whole neck was about a foot long, but the attendant was gracious enough to cut it into 3 or 4 smaller pieces for me. I generally love smoked meats of any sort, so I figured I couldn't go wrong with this one.
Before heading back out on the road today, I decided to give it a try with my lunch. It was almost impossible to tell how much meat was on it, but the seasoning smelled good. After heating a small piece in the microwave for a few seconds, I took a bite. Wow. There was almost zero edible meat on this thing, and what was there was undoubtedly the toughest, stringiest meat I've ever tasted. My teeth weren't even capable of tearing off anything salvageable, and the only result was a tiny bite of what reminded me of ultra-tough, fatty chicken.
 After another failed attempt to bite into it, I tried using my chef's knife to cut off what I thought was an edible portion, and even that tactic didn't work. Honestly, it was inedible. I chucked the rest of the piece into the garbage. The smoky seasoning was good, but other than that, it was a major letdown.

Based on the toughness of the meat, I'm not sure if smoking these is the way to go. Maybe slow cooking or braising would yield a better result? No way I'll ever eat these again if they're cooked in this method - there's just no point.


  1. I've never seen anyone just eat smoked turkey necks. It's usually used as a healthier alternative to the "swine". Instead of using ham hocks in Collard greens or soups/beans people will used smoked turkey.

  2. Interesting. I assumed that since they were featured next to the smoked wings/legs/etc, then they could be eaten as is.

  3. That sounds like something my dog would enjoy.

  4. Rich is right... as far as I know, it's a cooking ingredient / seasoning meat, not an item to eat "as is". Same with smoked turkey wings - not enough meat to make it worth eating, but they add fine flavor when dropped into a slow simmering pot of liquids...