Usually Tough Wild Turkey Legs & Thighs Made Delectable in Enchiladas with a Salsa Verde
Updated: Nov 9
Hunters who simply breast out turkeys, geese or other, larger, game birds miss out on superb opportunities to create exceptionally flavorful meals with the meat from a bird’s legs and thighs. An easy, tasty dish to prepare with this meat is enchiladas topped with cheese and a spicy green salsa.
Granted, wild turkey legs, especially from an older tom, can be a little tough when roasted. The answer is to simply slow cook those legs and thighs in liquid until the meat nearly falls from the bone. You can make your own turkey stock by simply saving the bones and other dressed parts you would normally discard and then adding them to a stock pot, covering with water, first bringing to a boil and then simmering a couple hours. It’s well worth it.
To prepare the meat:
2 turkey legs and thighs
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 Tablespoon spicy salsa or taco sauce
More chicken stock or turkey broth to cover legs
Two options here Put all ingredients in a crock pot or stock pot with just enough chicken or turkey stock to cover the turkey. Cover the pot and simmer for several hours until meat is very tender. Cool and shred meat off the bones. Save the cooking broth. As an alternative, cook the meat in a pressure cooker (your new Instant Pot), add the stock, salsa and lime juice and then cook for as long as the directions prescribe for your particular unit and that amount of meat. Save the residual liquid after cooking.
To prepare enchiladas:
2 tablespoons butter
Shredded turkey meat, prepared above (you should have about 3 or 4 cups)
½ cup cooking broth
½ sweet onion, diced
1 four-ounce can chopped green chilies
24 ounces medium green salsa (salsa verde) - divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
20 Corn tortillas
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pan, sauté onion in 2 tablespoons butter until soft. Add the meat, broth, garlic power and cumin, and mix well. Stir in the chilies and ¼ cup of green salsa. Cook until warm throughout. Mix in about 1/2 cup of the cheese and remove
from heat. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of mixture on a tortilla and roll up. Place seam side down in greased baking dish. Continue until the dish is full. Cover with about 12 ounces of the salsa. Much of this will be absorbed into the tortillas as it bakes. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Add the remaining salsa and cheese as a final topping as soon as the enchiladas are removed from the oven. Serve promptly.
Side dishes are simple and easily made while the enchiladas are in the oven. Make a little salad with some chopped lettuce and tomato. Add dollops of sour cream with a cilantro garnish and homemade guacamole to round everything out.
Making guacamole is simple. Just get a couple ripe avocados, halve them and then scoop the avocado from the outer skin into a bowl. Add a splash of lime or lemon juice, a little kosher salt, a heaping tablespoon of finely diced sweet onion and a few dashes of hot sauce and then mash it all together. You can add a tablespoon of finely chopped tomato, as well.
To wash it all down, it’s hard to beat a premium lager beer that has a wedge of lime squeezed into it. Mexican beers Tecate or Dos Equis are good this way, but don’t feel bad trying it with a cold Coors or Budweiser. Buen provecho a mis amigos.