Wild Turkey Leg Chipotle Fried Tacos Recipe

Wild Turkey Leg Chipotle Fried Tacos Recipe
Wild Turkey Leg Chipotle Fried Tacos Recipe (Jenny Nguyen photo)

Don't know what to do with wild turkey legs and thighs? Don't toss them; give this chipotle fried taco recipe a try

Most hunters I know just don’t know what to do with wild turkey legs. It’s true— these legs are tough, especially from a dominant, old tom turkey, and the pin bones can be intimidating to cook.

For this reason, these underrated parts are often thrown away, and that’s a shame because that’s a ton of meat wasted; from just two turkey leg and thighs, I was able to make about 25 tacos for this recipe.

And just because turkey may be considered a “white meat,” don’t be fooled. Wild animals are a different and their leg meat is dark and flavorful. However, you do have to put in some work to make them fit for the table.

If you have a slow cooker, then you can cook turkey legs. It’s as easy as seasoning the legs and throwing it into the crockpot for a few hours to tenderize—no more difficult than slow cooking a roast. After 6 to 8 hours, the meat will be so tender that you can do anything with it. Use the meat in your favorite casseroles, soups, stir fries, BBQ sandwiches … or tacos.


These turkey and chipotle fried tacos are by no means healthy, but I promise that they will be gobbled up so quickly. Remember those fast food Jack in the Box or Burger King fried tacos? They were filled with a weird meat paste that was so disgusting but also so addicting at the same time. Well, these tacos are all crunchy, greasy goodness—filled with wholesome ingredients hunted by you.


Servings: 20-25 tacos
Prep time: 6-8 hours
Cook time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


Ingredients:

  • 2 wild turkey legs and thighs
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of salt, plus extra
  • ¼ teaspoon of cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 cans of beer
  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Half a grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro stems
  • Shredded romaine lettuce
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 20-25 corn tortillas
  • Corn or vegetable oil for frying
  • Hot sauce/taco sauce

Directions:

Wild Turkey Leg Chipotle Fried Tacos Recipe
Shredded wild turkey for chipotle fried taco recipe. (Jenny Nguyen photo)


1. Remove thick areas of silver skin from turkey—no need to get all of it. Combine minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of salt, cracked pepper, chili powder and cumin, and then rub it all over turkey. Place turkey in a slow cooker and pour in enough beer to completely submerge turkey. Add halved onion and cover the slow cooker with foil. Place the lid on top of the foil—foil will help keep moisture in. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender. Remove meat from bones and finely shred with two forks, being careful to remove all pin bones.

Wild Turkey Leg Chipotle Fried Tacos Recipe
Wild turkey meat with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and tomato paste. (Jenny Nguyen photo)

2. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add grated onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Then turn up heat to medium-high and then add the shredded turkey meat with chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and tomato paste. Sauté until meat is warmed through and slightly toasted. Take of heat and add chopped cilantro stems, salt and pepper to taste. Add more adobo sauce from the can if desired. Set meat aside. (You can use cilantro leaves, too, but the stems have just as much flavor and they will also hold up better.)


Wild Turkey Leg Chipotle Fried Tacos Recipe
Warm corn tortillas in oil to prevent them from cracking when assembling tacos. (Jenny Nguyen photo)

3. In a cast iron skillet, heat 1 to 2 teaspoons of vegetable/corn oil over medium heat. Lay corn tortillas into the warm oil and flip back and forth to warm through. (Warming the tortillas in oil helps to moisten the tortilla and prevents it from cracking when assembling with meat.) Lay warmed tortillas in a bowl and keep warm. Add more oil to the pan as necessary.

Wild Turkey Leg Chipotle Fried Tacos Recipe
Fill corn tortillas with shredded wild turkey mixture before frying. (Jenny Nguyen photo)

4. Fill warmed tortillas with about 2 tablespoons of the shredded turkey mixture and fold over the tortilla, gently pressing down the taco to encourage it to keep its shape. Lay tacos on a cookie sheet and repeat. Once all tacos are assembled, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to firm up for 30 minutes. (Tacos can also be assembled ahead of time and fried later.)

Wild Turkey Leg Chipotle Fried Tacos Recipe
Fried wild turkey leg chipotle tacos in skillet. (Jenny Nguyen photo)

5. In a cast iron skillet, heat enough oil to 350 degrees F to shallow fry tacos—do not fill your cooking vessel more than 1/3 of the way up to prevent oil from boiling over. Once oil is heated, gently lay cold tacos into the oil and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on both sides; do not overcrowd the pan and be careful for splatter. Remove the fried tacos with tongs and tip to drain out excess oil—there will be lots. Rest on paper towels.

Wild Turkey Leg Chipotle Fried Tacos Recipe
Once the fried tacos are cool enough to handle, top them off with lettuce and cheese. (Jenny Nguyen photo)

6. Once tacos are cool enough to handle, carefully open up the tacos and fill with shredded romaine lettuce and cheddar cheese. Serve with your favorite hot sauce.

Recommended for You

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set. Hogs

Quick Tips: How to Spot and Stalk a Hog

Ian Nance - May 28, 2019

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set.

Crankbaits mimic exactly what they eat when hungry — other fish! Bass

Baitfish for Bass: Search, Suspend or Sink Crankbaits

Jason Houser - May 21, 2019

Crankbaits mimic exactly what they eat when hungry — other fish!

We're told to pay attention to the lunar phases. What do bass pros think? Bass

MLF Pros: What's With the Moon?

G&F Online Staff

We're told to pay attention to the lunar phases. What do bass pros think?

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

MLF BPT angler and former Classic champ Casey Ashley has been with Costa del Mar sunglasses his whole career. At ICAST 2019, he shows OSG writer Lynn Burkhead some new products and talks how to pick the right lens color for the water.

Mustad

Mustad's New Tungsten Weights

Long known as one of the world's premiere hook makers, Mustad's Reid McKinstry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that the company is now one of the leaders in making tungsten terminal tackle products for anglers.

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some strategies. Catfish

Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record. Walleye

Record-Sized Walleye Was Foul-Hooked, Agency Says

G&F Online Staff

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record.

See More Stories

More Wild Game

Looking to free up space in your freezer? Then try some of our most popular venison recipes. Wild Game

15 Popular Venison Recipes

Game & Fish Online Staff

Looking to free up space in your freezer? Then try some of our most popular venison recipes.

Planning an epic dinner party? This recipe for Smoked Venison Summer Sausage is just what you need to spice up that charcuterie platter. Wild Game

Smoked Venison Summer Sausage Recipe

Traeger

Planning an epic dinner party? This recipe for Smoked Venison Summer Sausage is just what you...

This homemade venison soup is delicious, easy to make and a guaranteed belly warmer. Wild Game

Venison Cheeseburger Soup Recipe

Raschell Rule

This homemade venison soup is delicious, easy to make and a guaranteed belly warmer.

See More Wild Game

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×