Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Turkey Tacos

This is a multi-stage recipe (for which I only have one picture, unfortunately), but I thought it was worth sharing with you.

Way back when in November, I bought a locally-raised turkey. Since we didn't need a whole bird just for our little Thanksgiving, I carved off the leg pieces and wings and put them in the freezer until later ...

... many months later ... I found my bag of turkey bits in the deep freeze. I had read about confiting turkey legs and was hoping to save up enough chicken fat to try that technique with these. Despairing of that ever happening I decided to jump start the process by using olive oil and some pork fatback.

I seasoned the pieces with salt and pepper and let them rest in the fridge overnight. The next day, I put the turkey pieces, peppercorns, a head of garlic, and several bay leaves into my crockpot and covered them with oil. After eight hours of slow cooking, the pieces were cooked through and silky. The result was as unctuous as a duck confit and the legs were way too big to fry up in a pan. I pulled the meat off the bones and covered it in the oil.

Now, how to use up this bounty (about three pounds of meat) ? A few pieces got sauteed and served over a salad with a poached egg. A few more went into an omelet. A few more onto a sandwich. Oy, that's a lot of turkey meat I still have in the fridge. So, tonight the rest went into tacos.

Finally, a recipe. Here you go:

Turkey Tacos
serves 4
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (or not, I had it in the fridge)
  • 3 cups cooked turkey meat
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • For serving: tortillas, sour cream, shredded cheese, shredded cabbage, sliced chilies, etc.
Saute onion over medium high heat until translucent. Add the chili powder to the onions and saute a few more minutes. Add tomato sauce, turkey and about 1/4 cup water (1/2 cup if you aren't using tomato sauce). Simmer until turkey is hot, pressing on the meat with a wooden spoon to shred the meat (alternatively, use two forks to shred the meat). Add the lime juice. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve with accompaniments of your choice.

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