Sometimes I grocery shop with a clear menu in mind and sometimes I buy whatever strikes my fancy and figure out how to use it later. That’s exactly what happened the other day when I came home from the store with two packages of turkey cutlets. I knew I could grill them or bake them just like I would chicken, but I felt like taking a more untraditional approach. Francese? Stir fry? Parmigiana? No… Tacos!
We’ve all had those uninspired and dull as dishwater tacos made with a lump of ground beef and a packet of “taco seasoning.” Yeah, no thanks. I had far greater aspirations for my turkey tacos. First of all I planned to slow cook the turkey with sweet onion, garlic and traditional Mexican spices so that it was crazy flavorful and falling apart tender. Then I would shred it and serve it in warm soft taco shells with some aged cheddar cheese, fresh cilantro leaves, pickled red onion and jalapeños piled on top.
Oh baby— These were some of the tastiest tacos the Greco family has ever eaten (and frankly we’re eaten more than out fair share.) So long boring hand-held meal and hello delicious Wednesday night dinner!
Pulled Turkey Tacos
This shredded turkey is fabulous in tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas or as a pulled sandwich. The recipe is just as fantastic if you decide to swap a boneless pork lion for the turkey.
2 1/4 cups homemade (or jarred) red sauce
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2.5 lbs. turkey breast cutlets (or boneless pork loin)
3 tsp. corn starch
3 tsp. cold water
1 tbsp. butter*
soft taco shells, optional
shredded cheddar cheese, optional
shredded lettuce or cilantro, optional
sour cream, optional
pickled red onion, optional
diced jalapeño pepper, optional
- Stir together the first 8 ingredients and pour into the crock pot. Add the turkey cutlets and mix to coat well. Cover and cook on medium for 6 hours.
- When the turkey is done remove it from the pot and shred it using two forks.
- Mix together the corn starch and water and add it to the sauce. Stir in the butter until it melts, then add back the shredded turkey and mix so that the turkey is well coated with the sauce.
- Serve in warmed tortillas with fresh cilantro, cheddar cheese, and pickled red onions and an ice cold beer.
*Because the turkey breast is so lean I added a bit of butter to the sauce to add some richness and depth of flavor. However if you use pork loin instead of turkey I can’t imagine you would need to add it and therefore wouldn’t bother.
*adapted from can you stay for dinner?