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Updated: Feb 2

Wild Turkey Tinga Torta
Photo by Larry White

If I had to pick one way of cooking the dark meat from wild turkeys, this tinga preparation would be a top contender. This has been one of my favorite easy Mexican dishes for a long time and for good reason. It's a one pot deal that's smoky, spicy, sweet (if you add sugar) and versatile. Tinga is a great filling for tacos, tortas, burritos and quesadillas. It's also perfect served simply with a side of rice, beans and queso fresco.

Serves: 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1.5 - 3 hours (depending on how tough your bird is)


  • 2 each - wild turkey thighs, legs and drums

  • 2 tablespoons - olive oil

  • 1 medium white onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • one 28 ounce can - peeled Italian tomatoes

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican if you have it)

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo (chopped), plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce

  • 4 cups - chicken or turkey stock

  • salt and sugar to taste

  • 1 1/2 cups - reserved cooking liquid from turkey (to be used at the end of the recipe)


  1. In a pot, add the turkey, bay leaves, marjoram, thyme and enough water to cover the turkey by a few inches. Bring to a slow simmer and season the liquid with salt to taste. Cover the pot partially with a lid and simmer until tender. This can take anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours.

  2. Once the turkey is tender, reserve 1.5 cups of the cooking liquid and place to the side for later. Remove the turkey from the pot, shred the meat and reserve for later.

  3. While the turkey is cooking, make your sauce. Heat a medium sized pot over medium heat. Add the onions, season with a pinch of salt and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Pour the tomatoes, chipotles and adobo sauce into the pot. Partially cover the pot and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the mixture has slightly thickened. You may need to stir a few times to ensure that it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pot.

  4. Pour in the reserved 1.5 cups of cooking liquid. Add the shredded turkey meat and cook uncovered stirring often, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Season with salt, sugar and more adobo sauce to taste.

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