Zesty Pulled Turkey - A Family Feast

Zesty Pulled Turkey

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings


  • Leftover roasted turkey carcass with at least 2 pounds of meat left on the bones
  • 4 jalapeños, stemmed
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 large celery stalk, quartered
  • Stems from one bunch of cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 whole pepper corns
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 68 crusty dinner rolls, split
  • ½ pound jack cheese, sliced
  • ½ cup Cranberry Orange Relish, see recipe here


  1. Pull the turkey carcass apart as much as possible so that it fits better in a medium pot. Place turkey carcass in medium pot.
  2. Remove seeds from two of the jalapenos and leave the seeds in the other two. If you like the heat, leave all the seeds in. Place those in the pot with the turkey carcass along with the onion, celery, cilantro stems, salt and peppercorns.
  3. Cover with water to about two inches above ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil then simmer for two hours or until there is about two cups of liquid left. Do not discard liquid.
  5. Separate the liquid from the solids, pick the meat from the bones once it is cool enough to handle and discard the remaining solids. You should have about 4 cups of cooked turkey.
  6. If the turkey isn’t already shredded, shred with two forks.
  7. Heat a large sauté pan and melt the butter over medium high and place the shredded turkey into the hot butter.
  8. Brown the turkey for about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the pan and place back into the liquid to keep it hot and moist.
  9. Mix the mayonnaise with the cilantro and spread evenly over each top and bottom roll.
  10. Drain the hot shredded turkey and pile between each roll and top each with the sliced jack cheese.
  11. Divide the cranberry relish between each and top with the other half of the roll.