You can have your cake and eat it too -- if by cake you mean juicy, tender turkey wings. While methods like deep-frying may give the wings a crackling, golden-brown crust at the expense of a juicy interior, a braising-roasting combination helps avert this turkey tragedy by first steaming the meat and breaking up tough connective tissue, then rendering the fat in the skin and crisping it to golden brown afterward. Braising and roasting caramelizes the sauce you used to coat the wings, too.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the wings with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and lay them in an even layer in a Dutch oven or deep, heavy-gauge braising dish.
Pour enough boiling chicken stock in the pan to almost cover the turkey wings, leaving only about 1/4 inch of the tops exposed. Cover the pan with the lid. If you don't have a lid, use a couple layers of aluminum foil. Place the dish in the oven.
Braise the turkey wings for 20 minutes and turn them over. Cover and return the pan to the oven.
Braise the wings for an additional 20 minutes and take the pan out of the oven. Transfer the turkey wings to a shallow dish or a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space the wings about 1 inch apart.
Brush oil on the wings. Place the turkey wings in the oven, uncovered.
Roast the wings until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. If you want to add a glaze or sauce, brush it on the wings and roast until caramelized, about 5 more minutes.
Take the wings out of the oven. Check their doneness by inserting a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the wing, or by slicing through the thickest portion and checking for firm, white meat with no traces of pink. Turkey wings should have a minimum internal temperature of 165 F.
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- Marinate the wings for 30 to 45 minutes before braising them, if desired.
A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.