Turkey Carnitas

Turkey Carnitas
  • 4Servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked turkey meat (just dark or dark and white), shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 jalapeno or Serrano chile, 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 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (about 2/3 palmful) each ground cumin, ground coriander and chili de arbol powder or chili powder blend (I like Gebhardt)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Mix-and-match toppings: lime wedges, cilantro leaves, crumbled queso fresco, chopped red onion, corn kernels browned in skillet, radishes cut into matchsticks


In a small pot, add the turkey, stock, onion, garlic, chile, cinnamon stick, orange peel and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high and keep at a low boil, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add the oil, three turns of the pan. When the oil ripples and smokes, add the turkey. (Discard the cinnamon stick, orange peel and bay leaf.) Add the 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 skillet (not nonstick), 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.