Wild Turkey Cubano

My inspiration for this sandwich is the “El Cubano” from one of my favorite restaurants in coastal mid-coast Maine. I don’t venture over there often, but when I do I make sure I pick up one of these sandwiches while I’m there. Home Kitchen Café makes their own bread from scratch and handcrafts each and every one of their dishes. This sandwich has everything you could ever want. Pulled pork & ham along with a spicy chili mayo makes this sandwich something special. The homemade pickles and red onion are the cherry on top. While shredding wild turkey legs the other day I was realizing they were the same consistency as pulled pork, and from there I just knew I had to give this sandwich a go.

Serves:  2 +/- –  Cooktime: 9 hours +/- (8 hours slow cook time)


Turkey Legs & Broth:

  • 1 Turkey Leg (About 1 lb to 1.5 lbs +/-)
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Small Red Onion, Roughly Chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Smashed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Butter

Quick Pickles & Red Onion:

  • 3/4 Cup White Vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Small Red Onion
  • 1/2 European Cucumber
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dill Seed
  • 3 Chives, Roughly Chopped into 3″ Segments

Hot Chili Mayo:

  • 1/3 Cup Mayo
  • 4 Teaspoons Sriracha
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Honey

Sandwich Assembly:

  • Sub Rolls
  • Pepper Jack Cheese, Sliced Thin


1.) If frozen, defrost turkey leg and generously salt and pepper both sides. Add all broth ingredients into a crock pot or slow cooker and set to low. Add turkey leg in and cover. Cook for 8 hours. At the halfway mark, flip the turkey leg. (NOTE: do NOT turn crock pot off in the middle of cooking and resume later, this will cause the meat to become tough).

2.) Meanwhile, make the homemade pickles. We’ll be using a quick pickling method which will mean you can use your pickles within 6-8 hours of making them. Prepare your veggies but cutting a cucumber in half and then slicing it in thin pieces length-wise. Thinly slice onion. Pack a 16-ounce jar (I used an old pickle jar), by first placing cucumber slices along the edge of the jar, moving inwards once you’ve lined the outer edge of jar. Place onions in the center of the cucumbers to fit all veggies in one jar. Add garlic cloves and spices. On medium heat, add vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to pan and let boil. Make sure sugar and salt have dissolved before removing from heat. Pour over veggies and cover immediately. Let cool down to room temperature then place in fridge until ready to assemble sandwiches.

3.) Once the turkey meat is done cooking, remove from broth and shred meat. It should easily fall off the bone. Add meat to a bowl with 1/2 cup of remaining broth, 1/2 tablespoon butter, and salt and pepper, to keep the meat moist and seasoned.

4.) To make the hot chili mayo, combine all ingredients into a small bowl and mix well. Place in fridge until ready to assemble sandwiches.

5.) To assemble sandwiches, cut a sub roll in half lengthwise and smear both sides with chili mayo. Add sliced pepper jack cheese, a slice of ham (cut in half so it fits on sub roll), 1/2 cup of turkey meat (or more depending on your preference!), and a few pickles/red onion slices. Smear outsides of bread with butter and add to panini press or hot pan to melt cheese inside sandwich. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until browned and crispy. Cut in half, serve and enjoy!

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