Posted On March 2, 2019 By In Island Table, Regulars With 382 Views

Island Dish – Achiote Rubbed Turkey Tacos

by Chris Compton – 

This is a recipe best served with a pile of warm tortillas and a margarita. The combination of turkey, corn, kale and black beans provides a filling and nutritious dinner that can even be served at a dinner party.

I find that turkey is an underutilized source of protein and the only time it is looked towards is during the holidays when it is dressed with all of the seasonal classics. It has so many more uses, and is a great source of lean protein. These bold Mexican spices will bring a new dimension to turkey you may have not experienced before.

Enjoy cooking for your friends and family. Serves 4.

1kg turkey leg

2 strips bacon (optional)

1 onion, sliced


2 sour seville oranges, juiced

2 limes, juiced

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 chipotle pepper (in adobo)

¼ cup oil

2 tbsp achiote paste*

1 tbsp salt

½ tbsp ground pepper

½ tbsp cumin seeds, toasted then ground

*Achiote is a traditional Mexican spice which imparts earthy citrus notes and is used to colour foods red. Find it at Latin grocery stores and online.

Begin by peeling garlic. Combine all marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until thoroughly combined (doesn’t need to be smooth). Marinate your turkey for at least one hour and up to eight hours. When ready to cook, layer a casserole dish with the onion on the bottom, followed by the turkey leg and topped with the bacon strips if using. Cover with tinfoil and cook at 300° for 2 to 2½ hours or until pull-apart tender. Shred and keep warm. Moisten with the cooking liquid before serving.

Black Bean and Kale Salad

1 small can black beans, rinsed

1 head green or black kale, finely sliced

1 cup corn kernels, cooked

½ red onion, julienned

Salad Dressing

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 limes

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted then ground

½ cup canola oil

salt and pepper (to taste)

Throw all ingredients for dressing, except for the oil, in a blender and blend thoroughly. Once combined, begin to slowly stream oil into the blender, keeping it on low speed. After dressing is emulsified, season to taste. Finely shred kale by taking the tough stems off and stacking the leaves on top of each other in a manageable pile, roll like a cigar and then finely slice to about 1cm wide. Toss the kale with a few tablespoons of dressing to coat and massage to break down the tough leaves. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes and then add the rest of the salad ingredients. Allow salad to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Can be kept in the fridge for at least three days.

Mango Salsa

1 ripe mango, diced

¼ jalapeño, diced small

¼ red onion, diced small

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 lime, juiced

2 – 3 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper (to taste)

12 soft taco shells

lime wedges

Chop all ingredients (except shells and lime wedges) and combine. Season to taste. To serve: Place all components in bowls. Serve with warm tortillas and lime wedges.

Margarita (6 servings)

375mL 100% Agave Tequila Blanco

185mL lime juice (about 6-7 limes)

180mL Cointreau

simple syrup to taste

ice cubes or crushed ice

12-18 slices of lime to garnish

kosher salt

Simple Syrup

250mL agave syrup

250mL water

Begin by juicing the limes. Add tequila and cointreau to lime juice. I usually put this mix into swing top bottles and let it chill in the fridge overnight.

When serving, set up a rimming station with a bowl of limes and kosher salt spread on a plate or bowl that is wide enough to fit the glasses you are using. Once glasses are rimmed, fill with ice and add the margarita mix. Set out a bowl of lime wedges and a bottle of simple syrup to allow your guests to sweeten the drink to their own taste.

For the simple syrup, combine ingredients, bring to a boil and allow to chill.

You can use any type of sweetener you want (honey, brown sugar, maple syrup); however, agave syrup is the preferred choice for tequila drinks. No matter the sweetener, always use equal parts sweetener and water.



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