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Surprise yourself and your family and friends with this easy and memorable French Pot-au-Feu recipe made with turkey necks! Amazingly nutritious, turkey necks are rich in cartilage that contains collagen, which, when cooked, creates a gelatinous broth to enjoy with your meaty turkey necks and tasty vegetables.
Table of Contents
- Why Use Turkey Necks to Make a Pot-au-Feu?
- Why I like Jacque Pepin
- Ingredients to Make Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu
- How to Make Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu
- How to Serve Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu
- Recipe Tips
- Storing and Reheating
- More Thanksgiving Recipes
- Looking for an Heirloom Turkey?
- Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List
- The Modern Pioneer Cookbook
- Join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy
- Kitchen Academy Videos
- Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu Recipe Recipe
- Shop for items used in this blog post or video
Why Use Turkey Necks to Make a Pot-au-Feu?
Traditionally, a French Pot-au-Feu (“pot on fire” or “pot on the fire”) is made with tough cuts of beef that are allowed to simmer until they become tender and flavorful, along with hearty vegetables.
Although traditional Pot-au-Feu is made with beef, what better time to vary the recipe at Thanksgiving to make use of turkey necks? This part of the turkey is rich in cartilage, which is a prized ingredient when making any type of broth or bone broth. And since turkey necks are inexpensive or are nothing more than an afterthought when roasting a Thanksgiving bird, why not put those turkey necks to good use?
And in addition to all the benefits of collagen, which nourishes our digestive system, skin, hair, and nails, we’ve also learned a new meal for our no-waste, traditional foods kitchen.
Why I like Jacque Pepin
I will confess the idea of making a Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu is not original. I watched one of my favorite chefs create this clever meal. And who was that? Jaques Pepin! I have his cookbooks, and I have always loved watching his cooking shows over the years on public television. And now, many of his shows are on YouTube, which makes them accessible 24/7. I will confess I may be guilty of a little binge-watching! 😉
But stepping beyond the delicious dishes that Chef Pepin creates, I enjoy watching him because, at his core, he is a home cook. He will often recount stories of what his mom made back in France when he was growing up. He’ll recreate her recipes, and when he finishes pulling the dish together, he will often say, “I think my mother would be proud.”
It’s this quality that Chef Pepin has that always touches my heart because it reminds me of my own experiences cooking alongside my mother. Albeit I can’t hold a candle to the Chef, I like to think that when it comes to home cooking, both he and I share similar experiences learning from and cooking alongside our moms. Hopefully, Chef Pepin would approve of my home cooking and enjoy a true comfort food meal at my kitchen table!
Ingredients to Make Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu
Find the full printable recipe with ingredients below.
The ingredients for making Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu are humble ones and include:
- Onions, white or yellow
- Potatoes, red or other thin-skinned varieties are best
- Various herbs, including thyme and bay leaves
And the star of the show…
How to Make Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu
Find the full printable recipe with measurements below.
- Chop – It’s best to chop each turkey neck into three pieces.
- Boil – Add the turkey necks to a large stock pot (or Dutch oven) along with the herbs and bring the mixture up to a boil. Add in the salt, stir, cover, and turn the heat down to medium.
- Simmer – Allow turkey necks to simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add Vegetables – After 45 minutes, remove the lid and add the vegetables to the stock pot.
- Boil – Bring everything back up to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium.
- Simmer – Allow everything to simmer for 30 minutes.
How to Serve Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu
The traditional way to serve a Pot-au-Feu, even a recipe made with turkey necks, is to place some of the broth in a bowl and top the broth with optional toasted baguette slices with a bit of Gruyère cheese. You can serve this broth prior to the platter of Pot-au-Feu or alongside the main dish. (See below.)
For the main dish, place a few turkey neck pieces along with a selection of vegetables into a large individual-sized bowl. You can add just a bit of the hot broth over the food if you want.
As I have shared earlier, a traditional Pot-au-Feu is made with beef, but don’t let that limit you. Just as we have used turkey necks in this clever version, you can use other parts of poultry, including:
- Necks or Backs
- Hearts or Gizzards
- A Carcass with a bit of meat remaining on it
Making any type of Pot-au-Feu is easy, and it’s also an ideal way to make use of any vegetables you might have in your crisper that are getting a bit past their prime. Throw them into your stock pot with any bits and bobs of unusual cuts of meat or scraps you have on hand. In no time, you will have a flavorful dish, and no one will know that it had highly humble beginnings!
Storing and Reheating
It’s easy to store a Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu. Simply place any leftovers in an airtight container and be sure to consume them within 3 to 4 days. If frozen in a freezer-proof container, the Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu can stay fresh for 3 to 4 months.
If you are ever in doubt about the freshness of any food in your refrigerator, always trust your senses. If there is a foul odor or any sign of spoilage, discard the food and do not consume it.
If you need definitive answers as to how long any food will last in your fridge, be sure to consult the United States Department of Agriculture’s site AskUSDA.
When you are ready to re-warm your Pot-au-Feu leftovers, it’s easy to do by transferring all the food, including the broth, into a stockpot or Dutch oven. Bring it all up to a boil, then turn it down to a low simmer until everything is warmed through.
This spinach ricotta pie makes a tasty appetizer, side dish, or holiday entree for family and friends who follow a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet.
Make this rich, creamy pumpkin soup from an easy Seventeenth Century Heirloom Recipe.
Use your leftover turkey carcass to make this flavorful and gelatinous-rich bone broth.
Looking for an Heirloom Turkey?
If you’re looking for an heirloom turkey for your holiday celebrations, US Wellness Meats offers an excellent selection of grass-fed beef, bison, poultry, fish, and more.
- Use discount code MARYNEST and my link to save 15% off regular-priced items on your US Wellness Meats order. You can shop for a variety of products, including:
This post is not sponsored. I’m a long-time customer of US Wellness Meats because I have always been impressed by the quality of their products. Check out my US Wellness Meats unboxing video to see the types of products you can get, including bones for beef bone broth!
Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List
For an extensive list of the traditional foods you can make and purchase to stock your pantry, be sure to download my free 36-page Traditional Foods Pantry List. This comprehensive eBook is full of links to recipe videos, helpful articles, and more!
And if you’re looking for a printed book full of my traditional foods recipes that shows you how to create a traditional foods kitchen, be sure to order your copy of my new bestselling book, The Modern Pioneer Cookbook.
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The Modern Pioneer Cookbook
Seasonal ingredients, traditional techniques, and nourishing recipes. Over 85 traditional, from-scratch recipes! Discover for yourself how you can use simple ingredients and traditional techniques to cook the modern pioneer way.
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I share upcoming recipes and what I have planned for my Mary’s Nest YouTube channel in 2024.
During this month’s members-only live stream, we talked about a variety of topics, including a preview of upcoming videos.
I talk about the people I met at this year’s conference and share some behind-the-scenes of my new cookbook.
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Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu Recipe
- 1 large stock pot or Dutch oven
- 6 Turkey necks
- 3 quarts Water
- 4-5 sprigs Fresh thyme tied together with kitchen twine
- 2 dried Bay leaves
- 1 tsp Sea salt
- 1 head Cabbage, quartered
- 4 Carrots, peeled
- 1 whole Celery, cut in half crosswise with root end quartered See video
- 1 Onion, white or yellow, peeled but kept whole
- 4 Potatoes, red or other thin-skinned variety, unpeeled
- 1 Turnip, peeled but kept whole
- Sliced baguette, toasted optional
- Gruyère cheese, grated optional
- Chop each turkey neck into three pieces.
- Add the turkey necks to a large stock pot (or Dutch oven) along with the herbs, cover with water, and bring up to a boil. Add in the salt, stir, cover, and turn the heat down to medium.
- Allow the turkey necks to simmer for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, remove the lid and add the vegetables to the stock pot.
- Bring everything back up to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium.
- Allow everything to simmer for 30 minutes.
- If you want, first ladle some of the broth into an individual soup bowl and top with toasted baguette slices with a bit of Gruyère cheese. You can serve this broth prior to the platter of pot-au-feu or alongside the main dish.
- For the main dish, place a few turkey neck pieces along with a selection of vegetables into a large individual-size bowl. You can add just a bit of the hot broth over the food if you want.
- You can store Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. If frozen in a freezer-proof container, the Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu can stay fresh for 3 to 4 months.
- When you are ready to re-warm any Turkey Neck Pot-au-Feu leftovers, transfer all the food, including the broth, into a stockpot or Dutch oven. Bring it all up to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer until everything is warmed through.
Shop for items used in this blog post or video
Favorite Kitchen Supplies
- Favorite Aprons
- Portable Cooktop
- Copper Stock Pot (not mine, but similar)
- Cutting Board
- Kitchen Twine Holder
- 10-Piece Glass Bowl Set
- Chef’s Knife
- Maple Cutting Board
- Lodge Cast Iron Frying Pan
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