Skip to main content Skip to main content

Wild Turkey Carnitas Recipe

Making wild turkey carnitas is a good way to use up turkey legs that are otherwise difficult to eat.

Wild Turkey Carnitas Recipe

Pile turkey carnitas into a soft tortilla and top with cilantro, diced onions, and a squeeze of lime. (Holly A. Heyser photo)

Print Recipe

Carnitas – if you've never ordered the pork carnitas at Chipotle, you are missing out. It's a Mexican dish of braised meat that's pulled off the bone and crisped up on one side in a pan. That combo of crispy with meltingly tender meat is the perfect answer for an otherwise difficult meat to eat – turkey legs.

I prefer my turkey carnitas in soft tacos, with the traditional accompaniments: limes, onions, maybe some hot sauce, roasted chiles, and cilantro or parsley. Once you braise the meat and pull it off the bone, it will keep in the fridge for a week.


Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2-4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 turkey legs plus wings or thighs
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 3-5 dried small chiles
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup lard or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Juice of an orange

Directions:

  1. Put the turkey in a large lidded pot, add all the herbs, spices and enough water to cover the meat. Cover and simmer gently for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone.
  2. When the turkey is tender, remove it from the pot and let it cool. Pull it to pieces with two forks or your fingers. Discard the bones, skin and any tendons. You can store the meat for a few days at this point.
  3. To finish, melt the lard in a large pan and lay the shredded turkey on it on one layer. Brown it until one side is nice and crispy, about 4 minutes on medium-high. At the very end, pour the orange juice over the meat and sprinkle the sugar on top. Serve in tacos or burritos, on sandwiches or as a topping for rice.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Popular Videos

Crash Course: How to Fish Bass-Rich Shoreline Points

Crash Course: How to Fish Bass-Rich Shoreline Points

In this episode of "Crash Course," host Shane Beilue covers techniques for catching bass on shoreline points. When your time is limited, target points to intercept bass throughout the day.

 The Inspiring Side of Skeet Reese You

The Inspiring Side of Skeet Reese You've Never Heard Before

If you're a longtime fan of professional bass fishing, it's all but impossible to not see the presence that California angler Skeet Reese has had in the sport.

Trigger Time

Trigger Time

If there is one thing that can make a hunter a better shooter, it's a better trigger. Triggers with heavy pull weights, and excessive creep and overtravel can ruin a shot—and a day—in the deer woods. The Lupo's trigger is designed to help hunters place their shots accurately. Let's look at the details on episode nine of Beyond the Rifle.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now