Mole Pulled Turkey Tacos with Jicama Slaw

Mole Pulled Turkey Tacos with Jicama Slaw

Hiya! Me again. Getting tired of looking at my grilled creations yet? No? Good! Because, it’s Day Three of the Ontario Gas Barbecue Recipe Challenge, and we’ve hit the MOTHERLODE when it comes to flavour and street cred. (If you missed it, Day 1 was Thai Grilled Salmon with Coconut Lemongrass Sauce and Day 2 was Gado Gado Lettuce Wraps with Roasted Garlic Peanut Dressing.)


Today I was tasked with creating a Mexican pulled pork on the grill. Obviously, since I’m Jewish, pulling a pork would be completely out of character. Yes, I know I eat bacon, but bacon stands alone outside of porkydom. So, I got permission to smoke a turkey instead.




Well, I was thinking SMART, is what. Because smoking a whole turkey on the BBQ is like ridiculously easy. You are going to be THE MAN after you smoke that bird on your barbecue. People will be all like, You did WHAT?! I’m going to give you a TV show and a million dollars.


Mexican Spice Rubbed Smoked Turkey


In fact, preparing the turkey this way is actually way simpler, neater, and much faster than cooking it in the oven! All you need to do is turn your grill into a smoker and then treat your bird to a rubdown. For this challenge, I gave the turkey a Mexican flair with a spicy dry rub and used my handy Bear Paws to ‘pull’ it. Then, I drowned the shredded meat in a Mole (that means chocolate) BBQ sauce and topped it all with a fresh, crispy jicama slaw. Presto change-o! A sure fire crowd-pleaser.


Mexican Spice Blend for Smoked Turkey Rub


For more info about the Ontario Gas Barbecue Challenge, visit the landing page. Don’t forget that starting July 1, you’ll be able to vote on your favourite recipe. Each week, OGB will give one voter a $100 gift card to buy themselves something BBQ-fabulous.


Prep time: 60 minutes


Grill time: 2-3 hours


Turkey rub:


1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp Mexican chili powder

1 tbsp chocolate chili spice blend

1 tbsp ground cilantro

1 tsp freshly ground sea salt

1 tbsp garlic powder


12-14 lb turkey


BBQ Sauce:


2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

3 cloves of garlic

3 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp Mexican ground chiles (if you can find them)

1/2 tbsp ground cilantro

1 ½ tbsp chipotle powder

2 680 ml ((23 oz) cans plain tomato sauce (such as Hunt’s)

2 tbsp Worchesteshire Sauce

1 ½ tbsp coconut sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1 ½  tbsp good quality unsweetened cocoa (or Mexican chocolate, if you can find it)

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

½ cup apple cider vinegar


Jicama slaw:


¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

Juice of a fresh lime

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp coconut sugar

Salt & pepper to taste

1 medium Jicama, julienned (about 3-4 cups)

1 large red bell pepper, julienned

½ medium English cucumber, julienned

¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup grated carrot (I bought the pre-cut)

¼ cup chopped cilantro

¼ cup pepitos (raw pumpkin seeds)


Diced avocado for garnish


The day before(or at least the morning before)…


Combine all the rub spices in a container or jar with a well-fitting lid. Shake to mix.


Rinse the turkey inside and out. Pat dry with a paper towel. Massage the rub all over and inside the turkey and let sit at least two hours or overnight. If overnight, take out of the fridge at least one hour before cooking.


Make the BBQ sauce:


Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan. Sautee the onions until they’re translucent. Add the garlic and cook one or two minutes until fragrant. Add the spices from chili powder up to chipotle powder. Stir constantly and cook for a minute or two. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to simmer. Cook about 1 hr covered, stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings for heat and flavor. You should taste a smoky, slightly spicy and deep flavour.  Put in another container to chill until you’re ready for it.


Prepare the smoker box and wood chips according to the directions. I used a metal smoker box and cherry wood chips that had to be soaked for 30 minutes before before being placed on the BBQ.  Place the smoker box to one side of the BBQ andheat the BBQ to 400° F (200 °C). When the barbeque is to temperature, turn all burners off except the one under the smoker. Place the turkey on the grill area that’s off. Insert a meat thermometer in the turkey on the thickest part of the thigh, ensuring that the thermometer isn’t touching the bone.  Close the lid and go away for about an hour. Using the Bear Paws, quickly turn the turkey to make sure it cooks evenly. Close the lid again and resist all urges to check your bird. Use the thermometer to check for doneness. You’ll want the internal temp to read between  165°-175°F (76°-80°c).


Mexican Spice Rubbed Turkey on the Gas Grill with Bear Paws BBQ Tool


While the turkey is smoking, make the slaw:


Mix the dressing in a small bowl. Combine the slaw vegetables in a larger bowl, then add to the vegetables. Toss to coat, then refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.  Add the pepitos just before serving.


Jicama Slaw with Pepitos


Once it’s done, remove the turkey from the grill and let it rest, tented with foil, for at least 30 minutes, and up to one hour.


Now the fun happens. Using a sharp knife, kitchen scissors, and elbow grease, dismantle your turkey. You’re going to use the Bear Paws to shred or ‘pull’ the turkey parts, and you need to get the meat off the carcass before you can. You’ll get lots of good meat from the breast and thighs. Pull the leg with your fingers.

Pulling smoked turkey with Bear Paws BBQ ToolPulling smoked turkey with Bear Paws BBQ Tool


Mix the pulled turkey meat with about 2 cups of the prepared BBQ sauce.


Serve on soft tortillas: Spread some heated BBQ sauce on the tortilla, add about ¼ cup turkey meat and then top with Jicama slaw and diced avocado.


Mole Pulled Turkey Tacos with Jicama Slaw


Are you ready to get smokin’?




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