Smoked Turkey Picadillo Tostadas

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 

This full-flavored and spicy smoked turkey dish can be served hot or cold. Turkey and a black bean spread are layered on a crisp tostada base and served with an avocado salsa.


Smoked Turkey Brine
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp white sugar
1/4 cup Kosher salt
3 quarts water
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp oregano leaves
3 bay leaves

8 Turkey Legs Or 4 Turkey Hindquarters (leg and thigh, if using hindquarters remove thigh bone)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 oz red onion, sliced
3 oz yellow bell pepper, sliced into 1inch strips
3 oz red bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch strips
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Black Bean Spread:
2 cups black beans, cooked
6 oz liquid from cooked black beans
2 tbsp peanut oil
1/4 cup white onion, finely diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
6 oz chipotle sauce, prepared sauce
2 tsp ground cumin, toasted
2 tsp ground oregano, toasted
2 tsp red wine vinegar

Avocado Salsa:
1/4 cup red pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
5 Serrano chiles, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp mint, finely chopped
4 avocados, diced small
2 limes, juiced
Kosher salt to taste

Service and Plating:
12, 7-inch corn tostada shells, fried crisp
3/4 cup Queso Fresco (or substitute plain feta cheese)
Cilantro leaves as needed
Sliced almonds as needed, toasted


1. In a saucepot, mix together the sugars, salt, water, spices and herbs. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugars and salt are dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

2. Pour the cooled brine over the turkey parts, completely covering the turkey.

3. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 12 hours but no more than 14 hours.

4.Remove turkey from the brine and quickly rinse off the herbs and spices under cold water.

5. Smoke the turkey at 300 degrees F for 1.5 hours with light applewood smoke (or according to the manufacturer's directions), or until the turkey parts are cooked through to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F. If a smoker is not available, use pecan or mesquite wood with a wood burning grill and replenish the wood as needed to maintain a 300 degree F heat.

Smoked Turkey Picadillo Tostadas

1. Remove poultry from turkey legs and shred into bite size pieces. Measure 4 pounds of shredded smoked turkey.

2. Heat saute pan over medium-high heat and add oil. When oil begins to smoke, add onions and saute until they start to brown on edges; add 4 pounds turkey and peppers and continue to cook over medium-high heat.

3. Once turkey and peppers begin to brown, add brown sugar and spices. Cook until sugar is melted, approximately 45 seconds.

4. Deglaze pan with vinegar and continue to cook until all liquid is evaporated. Remove from saute pan and cool on a sheet pan. Once cool, stir in almonds and cilantro leaves.

Black Bean Spread

1.Puree cooked beans and liquid in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

2.Heat peanut oil in a large saute pan, over high heat. Saute onions and garlic until they begin to brown. Add pureed beans, chipotle sauce, cumin and oregano.

3.Lower heat to medium and allow entire mixture to thicken, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

4.After mixture thickens, stir in vinegar.

Avocado Salsa

1. Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Season to taste.

2. Pack the avocado salsa into a ring mold to form the base for the tostada. Note: The salsa must be used immediately or discoloration will occur.

Service And Plating

1. Cover tostada shells with black bean spread and top with picadillo mixture.

2.Serve with avocado salsa. Garnish with fine crumble Queso Fresco cheese and additional cilantro leaves and toasted sliced almonds.

3.Can be served hot or cold. If served hot, omit cooling step in picadillo method. Note: May also be served as a lunch entree.

Source: Recipe from Chef Gary Kucy

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