Wild Turkey Leg & Thigh Barbacoa

Many hunters throw the legs and thighs out with the garbage after they breast their wild turkeys. Now don’t get me wrong not all hunters do this but I would say more than 50% do. I was talking to a good friend who is a big time turkey hunter in the south and he said “I was raised being told there Isn’t enough meat on them to even bother with”. Now this misconception is keeping hunters from some of the best meat on the bird. 

Now legs are full of tendons so cooking them like you would a store bought bird just won’t work. It’s all about slow cooking these cuts and breaking down the toughness that comes with legs. Once you’ve slow cooked the legs you can literally pull the tendons off because they are hard as rocks. The meat will just fall away.

Thighs to be are the top notch cut when it comes to wild birds. It’s dark, moist and tender when cooked just right. Bellow your see a simple slow cooker recipe that creates a truly stunning meal with meat most throw out. 

Wild turkey Barbacoa 

2-4 turkey legs & thighs

½ cup cilantro, chopped

1 cup red onion, sliced

2 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped

2 cups game stock or beef stock

2 jalapenos, chopped

2 limes, juiced

8 oz of green chilies

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cracked pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano          

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)




1.       Mix pepper, cumin, oregano, salt and red pepper. Rub mixture evenly on all sides of turkey

2.       Turn crockpot to high and add remaining ingredients, mix together

3.       Add turkey to mixture and put lid on and walk away for 7-8 hours

4.       Enjoy the amazing smell from your kitchen every time you enter the house

5.       After 7-8 hours of cooking remove turkey legs and thighs and place in large glass bowl, with two forks shred meat

6.       Add meat back to liquid in crockpot and mix together

7.       Remove from crockpot place on your favorite tortilla and cover in your favorite toppings

We love adding a fresh homemade Black Bean & Corn Salsa. See recipe below. 

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