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Playing Turkey Carnitas


  • 1 1/2 pound leftover cooked turkey (just dark meat or a mixture of dark and white), shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange, peel removed with a vegetable peeler in long strips (save the orange for another use!)
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons chili de arbol powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Crumbled queso fresco
  • Chopped red onion
  • Corn kernels, browned in skillet
  • Radish, cut into matchsticks


Serves: 4


In a small pot, add the turkey, stock, onion, garlic, chili, cinnamon stick, orange peel and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high then reduce heat and keep at low boil, stirring often until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick, orange peel and bay leaf.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add oil, three turns of the pan. When the oil ripples and smokes, add the turkey, cumin, coriander and chili powder; season with salt and pepper. Cook until the turkey is browned and crispy at the edges, about 15 minutes.

Working directly over a gas flame or in a dry, nonstick skillet, cook the tortillas over high heat until charred in spots, about 30 seconds per side.
Serve the turkey with the tortillas and toppings of your choice.

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