Turkey Birria Tacos

November 17, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Serves 8
What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Turkey Birria Tacos
  • 1 large turkey carcass plus skin and any vegetables or herbs stuffed in the cavity (meat removed and reserved)
  • 3 large chiles guajillos (0.6 oz/18 grams), stemmed and seeded
  • 2 large chiles pasillas (0.4 oz/12 grams), stemmed and seeded
  • 4 chiles de árbol, stemmed (and seeded for mild)
  • 1/2 medium white or yellow onion
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt (1.1 oz/30 grams), plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 3 dried or fresh avocado or bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 small stick canela or cassia cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram or Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1 cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 chopped white onion
  • 1 to 3 chopped jalapeños
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice (optional)
  • For serving: chopped onion, cilantro, lime wedges, warm corn tortillas
  1. Cover turkey carcass, skin, any vegetables or herbs stuffed in the cavity, chiles guajillos, chiles pasillas, chiles de árbol, onion, garlic and salt with water in a large stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, toast the spices. Toast peppercorn, avocado leaves, cloves, canela, cumin and coriander in a medium skillet over medium high, swirling the skillet or tossing the herbs and spices, until lightly charred and very fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the marjoram and toast, tossing frequently until marjoram is very fragrant and lightly toasted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the stock pot with the turkey and chiles. Reduce stock to a low boil and cook, uncovered until stock is very flavorful, and the bones separate easily from the bones.
  2. Strain stock through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl, reserve stock and chiles. If you want to reserve any of the vegetables, herbs or spices, you will be adding lots of flavor to the broth but it is completely optional, I want to make this as easy as possible! Transfer chiles any vegetables, herbs or spices and 4 cups of the stock to the jar of a blender and puree until smooth. Wipe out stock pot with a paper towel and transfer chile puree and strained stock into the pot and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Chop or shred any leftover turkey meat. And add to the simmering stock. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded and the meat is very tender. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
  4. Stir cranberry sauce, onion, jalapeño, garlic, orange zest and orange juice in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Taste and season with salt or lime juice if necessary.
  5. Divide the meat among shallow bowls and pour the consommé over. Top with the chopped onion and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing, cranberry salsa and tortillas to make tacos.

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Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

3 Reviews

[email protected] December 28, 2021
This is delicious! I made with the leftovers from Rick’s Pavo Al pastor. My only criticism is that the ingredients list has ground ginger on it but neither the written method nor the video indicates if it goes into the salsa or into the pot with the turkey. It was delectable and whatever is left tomorrow I’ll pop in the freezer for a frigid day!
chelsea November 22, 2021
This looks amazing. I made your pan de elote stuffing last Thanksgiving and it was outrageously good! Can't wait to try this this year!
Gardener November 18, 2021
Looks absolutely delicious. Can't wait to follow your lead down this path. Thanks for the guidance.