Wild Turkey Chile Verde

Everybody’s going “green” these days. It’s the responsible thing to do. But what about green meat? Other than ‘Green Eggs and Ham” I can’t think of too many instances when green meat is a good thing…unless it’s a steamy bowl of Wild Turkey Chile Verde. That’s “Green Chile” to those of you who are new to the Western U.S.. Best of all, it makes use of the parts of a wild turkey that often get carelessly discarded – the legs, thighs and carcass. Served with warm flour tortillas and something cold and frosty, this simplified version of a classic Mexican dish can’t be beat.

Wild Turkey Chile Verde


  • 1 wild turkey cut into parts
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 3 carrots
  • pan spray
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow onion diced
  • 3 Anaheim peppers diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 cups canned tomatillos drained and pureed
  • 3/4 tsp ground oregano
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
  • salt and pepper


  • Place turkey and next 3 ingredients into a lightly greased roasting pan and spray turkey and vegetables liberally with pan spray. Place in a preheated 375 degree oven, turning contents every 30 minutes until everything is lighlty browned. Allow to cool, pull breast meat off carcass and reserve meat. Place remaining carcass, legs, thighs and vegetables in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 – 6 hours, adding water as needed to cover contents of pot. When meat falls off the bone, pour contents through a strainer or colander into another stockpot, reserving meat from the strainer. You should have about 4 cups of broth. If not, add additional water or chicken broth. Place stockpot with turkey broth on a burner over medium heat. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté onions, peppers and garlic for 6 – 7 minutes. Add to stockpot with broth, along with tomatillos, oregano, cumin and all reserved wild turkey meat. Simmer for 1 hour. Stir in cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.


When you’re in a bind for time and can’t make the broth from the turkey carcass, heat up a pot of chicken broth and add diced turkey breast meat until cooked. Save the rest of the turkey for making broth when time allows.

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