I’m not a huge fan of turkey, especially when it’s done the traditional North American way – roasted in the oven. I much prefer getting the cheaper cuts like the necks (Curry Turkey Necks) and in this case, wings. Though a bit tougher than chicken wings, I find that they hold up well to the Caribbean way of stewing and the outcome is quite delightful. Tender pieces of meat, with a wonderful gravy which is excellent on rice, potato, dumplings, roti or ground provisions. The key is in the way we’ll season, marinate and finally braise these turkey wings in a process which is most traditional to the Southern Caribbean.
3-4 lbs turkey wings
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tomato (diced)
1 small onion (diced)
3 scallions (Chopped)
1 birds eye chili (1/4 scotch bonnet)
3 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon chopped shado beni (or cilantro)
2 seasoning peppers (known as pimento peppers)
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon veg oil
1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
3 cups water
Note: If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the entire list of ingredients to ensure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs – especially the Worcestershire sauce.
Have your butcher cut the turkey wings into same-size pieces for you, wash and drain. Then season with all the ingredients mentioned above, except the water, veg oil and brown sugar. Mix well, then cover and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 2-3 hours. Overnight would be best, but not necessary.
Heat the veg oil on a high flame in a heavy pot, then add the brown sugar and stir. It will clump, but after a while it will start to melt. Turn the fan on above your stove or open your kitchen window as it can get a bit smokey. Remember to use a dry long handle spoon. Keep stirring the sugar.. it will melt, go foamy/frothy and start changing color… you want it to get to an amber colour. Have the seasoned turkey wings very close as you need to act relatively fast. (watch the video below) As it goes a rich amber color, start adding the pieces of seasoned turkey wings and stir. IMPORTANT – you are adding wet wings to VERY hot molten sugar, so be careful and use a long handle spoon. Stir well, to coat all the pieces of turkey with the lovely color.
Turn the heat down to medium, cover the pot and let it go for about 10 minutes. Yes, it’s ok if some of the marinade goes into the pot as you added the turkey wings. In the same bowl you marinated the wings, pour in the water and move around to pick-up all the remaining marinade – we’ll need that soon. The wings will spring up it’s own natural juices in the pot. Remember to stir it a few times to color it evenly. To intensify the flavor and color of the stew, remove the lid off the pot and crank up the heat to high. It’s time to burn off all that liquid. The goal is to have a dry pot, with the sight of the veg oil at the bottom of the pot that we started of with. Now pour in the water and bring to a boil. This step will now gently cook the wings to perfection.
When it comes to a boil reduce it to a simmer, cover the pot and let it go for about 70-90 minutes. Remember to stir every 10-15 minutes and keep an eye on your liquid level. After about 80 minutes, they should be fully tender, it’s now time to personalize the dish a bit. You can remove the lid and turn the heat up to get the gravy to the consistency you like and remember to taste it for salt and adjust accordingly. Your tolerance for salt will be different than mine.
Top with some chopped scallions and serve!