This meal starts on Thanksgiving. All our usual get togethers were canceled or deferred to a different host’s house. Neither set of parents were up for hosting anything. And my husband doesn’t like turkey. So, that’s that.
Or is it? I bought some turkey thighs on my last halal meat run. I’ve never cooked turkey apart from the usual brine and roast so I thought it would make for an interesting meal. After my initial research (the usual run through of allrecipes and foodnetwork) I found this very casually written, though pretty thorough recipe for turkey tacos on chowhound. I almost didn’t follow the rules…I thought, everything good in life always starts with sautéed onions and garlic AND THEN the rest of the ingredients. Alas, I was a good girl and made the stock (with the addition of salt) and was rewarded handsomely.
At first taste, when testing the meat for doneness, I wasn’t crazy about it. It had an overwhelming turkey smell, without enough seasoning. But patience, young jedi, pays off. After I took the thighs out and let the stock reduce…I added two ladlefuls to my stir fried shredded meat and it was magical. Like the type of magic you see in restaurant kitchens when the wine hits the mushrooms or the pasta hits the sauce and the chef does this szuszh (sp?) with the pan and you wish it were in your mouth right now.
- 1 medium onion or 2 small, peeled and quartered
- 5-6 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of your knife
- 1 heaping tsp cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- juice of 2 limes
- juice of 1 orange
- 1 packet of dried ancho chillis (4 chillis in total…or use a can of chipotle peppers in their juices for more heat)
- 2 turkey thighs (about 3 lbs)
- 1 heaping tsp of salt
- vegetable oil
- Combine first nine ingredients in a large pot. Pour enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer. Let it simmer until meat is tender (this took me about 45-50 min).
- Remove the meat and let cool. Meanwhile, discard the bay leaves from the stock and blend the remaining ingredients with an immersion blender (or in a blender). Let reduce while shredding the cooled turkey meat.
- In a large skillet pour 2 tbsp vegetable oil over high heat. Stir fry shredded turkey, allowing it to stick to areas. After about a minute or so, add two ladlefuls of the reduced stock. Give it a final stir, getting the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.
- Serve with tortillas (or any flat bread), tomatoes, avocado, red onion…anything you like on your taco!