Jacques Pépin's Favorite Ways To Cook With Turkey Wings - Exclusive

One of beloved French chef Jacques Pépin's many wonders is how he seamlessly integrates his deep knowledge of French cuisine and shares it with American audiences, making the art of cooking refined, delicious, and — perhaps most importantly — accessible. In celebration of his latest cookbook "Cooking My Way," Pépin sat down for an exclusive interview with Tasting Table to discuss some of his favorite recipes, and during our discussion, he gave us several innovative takes on what to do with all of those Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

"I didn't discover turkey in America, but I discovered Thanksgiving — we don't celebrate in France," he explained. "With the dark meat, you can do a beautiful fricassee of turkey ... I use that [recipe] a lot when I have turkey for Thanksgiving, then for two or three days, I have turkey dishes. You can [make] them with rice or with potato or with anything like that; it will come out good." Pépin also noted that he enjoys turkey wings even outside of the Thanksgiving season — in fact, one of the most exciting and unexpected turkey dishes in "Cooking My Way" is his recipe for grilled turkey wings.

Grilled turkey wings are a delicious chicken substitute

Chicken wings are an American staple found at casual eateries across the country in a variety of preparations: slathered in barbecue sauce, fried to perfection, or cooked slowly in herbs and spices. But especially when Thanksgiving rolls around, Jacques Pépin wants you to remember that satisfying and delicious wings don't just have to come from chicken. A savory, meaty, and arguably more decadent option is to purchase turkey wings from your local grocer and grill them. 

"My market always has [turkey wings] around Thanksgiving time ... so I buy them because they're about two or three times the size of chicken [wings]," he told us. "You can do them in the same way [as you would with chicken], on the grill or with hot sauce basting on top, or you can actually cook them with rice like a paella or pilaf. You can do a lot with them. They're usually quite good and meaty." In addition to being tasty, when you purchase turkey wings during the Thanksgiving holiday, you can often also enjoy discounted pricing. "[Turkey wings] are very meaty and delicious — very moist meat and very inexpensive too," Pépin noted.