Wild Turkey Leg Fried Empanadas Recipe



Serves: 5-7

November is turkey month, make it wild turkey, with this slow-cooker empanada recipe.

Printer Friendly Recipe By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes

It's November and thoughts naturally go to turkey. We like it wild. This recipe slow cooks the sometimes-tough legs and thighs until they turn tender and fall from the bone. Continue simmering with Hatch roasted green chile peppers, diced onion and Mexican-style seasonings for a flavorful filling that works perfectly in these masa-flour-fried empanadas.

The finished empanadas are flaky and tender, with a rich corn flavor.

The masa flour makes the pastry crumbly, tender and rich in corn flavor. Make the empanada dough a few hours early so that it has time to chill. It helps keep the tender pastry from falling apart as you fry the empanadas.

Cook the turkey with the peppers and seasoning until it is tender and easily shredded.

Don't have a tortilla press? Just use a glass pie dish or an iron skillet to flatten the dough between the layers of a zip-style bag that has been spritzed with water or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. 



4 wild turkey leg/thigh quarters

2 cups Hatch roasted green chile peppers 

1 yellow onion

2 cups chicken stock

3 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon black pepper




corn masa harina flour

1 1/4 c lukewarm water

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp lard (a little more won't hurt the recipe and makes the dough a bit easier to work)

Cooking Instructions

Add the turkey and broth to the slow cooker. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Cook on high for four hours or until the turkey is tender enough to pull from the bone. Return the boneless turkey to the slow cooker. Pour in the Hatch green chile peppers, jalapenos, onion, garlic, and the remaining seasonings. Continue cooking for three more hours on high. Allow the filling to cool while you make the empanada dough.

Use a pie dish or skillet to press the dough flat.

Mix the dough ingredients in a stand mixer with a dough hook or by hand until the mixture forms a ball. Continue kneading a few more minutes. Wrap the ball in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour. To press the dough into a tortilla, place a slightly larger-than-golf-ball-sized piece of dough between sheets of wax paper or a zip-style bag spritzed with water. Press the dough flat with a glass pie dish. 

Spoon some cooled turkey onto the center of the dough round.

Spoon some of the turkey onto the center of the round. Carefully fold the dough over to form a pocket. Crimp the edges closed with fingertips or the tines of a fork. Fry in a quarter inch of hot oil in a cast iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cook for four to six minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through.

Crimp the edges with a fork or your fingertips to seal in the filling.

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