How to tuck turkey wings

Introduction to “How to tuck turkey wings”

In this article, How to tuck turkey wings, we will explain how to tuck the wings properly and why it’s essential if you want a nice-looking dinner to show off. Let’s dive into it!

Learning to prepare recipes can usually be more straightforward than they look. A bit of planning and research before actually attempting it helps minimize mistakes. Unlike other activities, improperly prepared recipes will not be edible and may find no takers on the dining table.

In this case, we are discussing a large bird called a turkey. Turkey has a special place in many homes and has a lot of special occasions planned around it. Usually, it’s a sizeable festive family get together like thanksgiving, which comes just once a year. And this is one event you want to present the best food preparation.

Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Keep these things handy

  • Turkey: You will need a whole turkey that’s freshly cut or fully defrosted. Turkey should feel firm and not hard to the touch. 
  • Kitchen twine: This will help tie the turkey and keep it in a proper shape.
  • Roasting pan: A pan large enough to accommodate the turkey and ensure the dripping juices do not fall on the oven floor.

Preparing the turkey

Turkey can be roasted or grilled. It’s essential to pay attention to how the turkey is first prepared for the cooking process. A frozen turkey, which is 10-15 pounds, should be left to defrost in the fridge over 2-3 days slowly. Ensure the turkey defrosts evenly and slowly. You will need to figure out the process of cooking.

Turkeys are usually grilled or roasted. Clean the turkey thoroughly in the cavity’s insides and rinse it with enough water to get clean. Take a look and make sure that the turkey is clean on the inside. Once this step is completed, the turkey is ready for the next step to prepare it for the oven.

The critical step that everyone misses

Turn the turkey over on the baking tray carefully. The fundamental process is the same every time, and everyone follows the same necessary steps. But there is one fine little detail that is mostly forgotten or overlooked. And this step is the difference between a well-prepared turkey and just an ordinarily cooked one.

It’s the practice of tucking turkey wings

Most people fail to realize this because it does not seem that obvious or essential. Turkey wings are tucked so effortlessly and quickly that you would miss it in most cooking videos too. Since turkey is a large bird, it may cook unevenly. The results can be disastrous in the oven or the dining table. So it helps to be a little more careful and do it well. If the turkey is damaged, it cannot be undone.

For the next step, get hold of a Kitchen string or twine. Kitchen twine is very handy, especially while cooking a turkey. Take a small length of the kitchen twine, make it into a loop and tie the turkey wings to their side. Tying the turkey makes it look attractive and presentable on the dining table. But it will also help to cook the turkey more evenly. You may need some help and extra hands while doing this, as the turkey may be large.

The reason behind tucking turkey wings

When preparing the turkey for the oven, please remember that turkey wings are the smallest and thinnest part of the bird. The legs and the rest of the body is large, and they will cook evenly in the oven. But in the wings’ case, since they are smaller and thinner, they will cook faster than the rest of the bird. As a result, wings are prone to being easily overcooked.

It’s also possible the wings may even burn and turn black if no adequate precaution is taken. This may result in the wings being burnt and wasted. In the end, you may also end up with a weird looking roasted turkey. If any part of the turkey burns in the oven, it will give a distinct burning flavor to the entire turkey as it will absorb that smell while cooking in the oven.

So I believe, you have by now understood, why tucking the turkey legs holds prime importance. So irrespective of the wings being long or short, they need to be tucked into the bird’s larger flesh.

How to tuck turkey wings properly

If the wings are short, you should tuck their tips into the turkey’s shoulders. It will keep the wingtips covered inside the shoulders, thereby preventing any burning. If the wings are long enough, tuck them under the turkey.

Start with one wing at a time. Lift that side of the turkey just enough to tuck its wing. Tuck the wing so that the turkey’s weight prevents the wing from slipping under it. The turkey and its wings have to hold this position for the entire duration inside the oven. Now repeat the same process carefully with the other wing in the same manner.

If, for some reason, the wing or wings don’t sit well under the weight of the turkey, use the kitchen twine to tie them together. Tie them just right so that they don’t just sit under the turkey, but they are also covered from all sides by the main body. This will ensure no part of the wing is exposed to the direct heat which will ruin them.

If done perfectly well, the wings will cook at the same rate as the rest of the turkey and not before it. I believe you have now understood the objective of this entire process. Just use your skills to complete the task to the best of the situation. Your turkey should now be ready for the stuffing.

Final preparation

You can now complete stuffing the turkey as it should be sitting stable on its own. Once done with stuffing, you have to complete the final preparations. The turkey must look nice, presentable, and tidy. To do this, you can cut another piece of the kitchen twine to tie the legs together. Cross the legs together, and while holding them still, connect them with the kitchen twine and tie them just above the bone joint.

Tying legs enhances the look even more, and trust me, you will be impressed by how neat and tidy it looks right out of the oven. Next, transfer the entire set to a roasting pan and place it inside the oven. Prepare the range at the right temperature before sliding in the turkey.

Take precaution, and your turkey will look delicious

It’s not too difficult to make a beautifully roasted turkey provided certain precautions are taken. I hope this article helped you understand the why’s and how’s of tucking turkey wings will result in a beautifully cooked turkey. Happy cooking.

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