Wild Turkey Carnitas Recipe
By angelamontana

Posted: May 17, 2018

Mmmm…who doesn’t love Mexican food?  Now, add meat from the spring turkey you  are going to tag, and ta da!  You have wild turkey carnitas!  Check out this recipe by Hank Shaw from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.

Wild turkey is notoriously tough meat, but this recipe will take care of that!  Enjoy with some homemade salsa and a side of sour cream!

Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 25 mins


  • 2 skinless turkey legs plus wings, or 2 turkey thighs
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed, cracked
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, Mexican if possible
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 3 dried small chiles, such as an arbol or Thai
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 tablespoons lard or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Juice of 1/2 an orange and 1 lime


  1. Salt the turkey well and put it into a Dutch oven or large lidded pot, add all the herbs, spices and enough water to just barely cover the meat in the pot. Cover and simmer for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone. Don’t worry, it will. Eventually. A jake or domestic turkey will be tender in about 90 minutes to 2 hours, and old tom might be double that.
  2. When it is tender, remove the turkey from the pot and let it cool. Shred with two forks or your fingers. Discard the bones and any tendons. You can store the meat for up to a week at this point.
  3. To finish, Add the lard to a frying pan and brown the meat as much as you like. I like a mix of soft and crispy. At the very end, drizzle in about a tablespoon of honey and the citrus juice. Mix and serve. I serve this as part of a taco plate. But you can eat it any way you like it: Sandwiches, ravioli filling, a topping for rice, in a burrito…
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