It’s time to wake up from your tryptophan induced food coma, because, well, we have more eating to do! One of the best parts about Thanksgiving is arguably the leftovers. It’s my own personal tradition to indulge in a few spoonfuls of pie straight out of the pie plate for breakfast, followed up by a good old fashioned day-after-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich for lunch. I like mine piled high with lots of stuffing and cranberry sauce on toasted white bread. But there’s no doubt that by tomorrow, I’ll be craving something totally new.
Enter turkey (or chicken) carnitas! They’re crazy easy to throw together for lunch or dinner, and the flavor is a complete 180 from Thursday’s big meal. I’m using this as a filling for tacos, served the traditional way with corn tortillas, chopped onion, cilantro and lime. But these carnitas would be killer in a burrito, a quesadilla, or even on a salad. Just be sure to serve with lots of hot sauce, salsa, avocado or guacamole.
I hope your Thanksgiving was one for the books, and that you’re spending the long weekend relaxing, spending time with family, and eating all of the leftovers.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 lb cooked chicken or turkey (white or dark meat), shredded into bits
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- sliced avocado (optional)
- hot sauce (optional)
- salsa (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet (I love cast iron for this) over high heat. Drop in the chicken or turkey, season with salt, and stir. Continue cooking and stirring every few minutes until the meat is golden brown and crisp - about 8-10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan, allowing any excess oil to drain off.
- To make tacos, warm the tortillas in the oven or on the stove, then arrange 3 on each plate. Top with the meat, chopped onion and cilantro, then give each a generous squeeze of lime. Serve immediately with extra limes at the table, sliced avocado, hot sauce and/or salsa is desired.