Crispy Turkey Salad



  • Cracklings Turkey
  • turkey skin, from 2 to 3 pounds each of turkey thighs and drumsticks, frozen in as thin a mass as possible
  • 1
    cup water
  • Salad
  • 2
    cups sliced almonds
  • 1 12
  • 13
    cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 to 4 lemons)
  • 1 12
    cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4
    garlic cloves, crushed with the flat side of a knife, peeled and left whole
  • 1
    lb washed and dried kale leaf, preferably lacinato, thick stems removed (weight after trimming)
  • 1 12
    cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2
    turkey breast, cooked and shredded
  • 2
    turkey thighs, cooked and shredded


  • Cracklings Turkey:
  • Remove frozen skin from plastic bag and cut it into roughly 3/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/4 cups).
  • Combine the skin, 1 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan and briskly simmer mixture, stirring occasionally (the skin tends to stick to the bottom), until water is evaporated and cracklings begin to fry in their own fat (you'll hear the sizzling), about 15 minutes.
  • Reduce heat and continue to fry the cracklings slowly, stirring frequently, until deep golden and crisp, about 10 to 20 minutes longer.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to paper towels to drain. Taste and season with salt, if necessary.
  • NOTE: You can cook the cracklings up to 2 days heads. And reheat in a heavy skillet before adding to salad.
  • For the salad:
  • In a toaster oven or skillet, toast almonds until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  • In a bowl, combine lemon juice and 1 heaping teaspoon salt. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Add garlic cloves and set aside to steep.
  • Cut the kale into thin ribbons: gather a large handful of leaves, bunch together tightly, and use the other hand to slice into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. (Recipe can be made up to this point 1 day ahead. Keep kale and dressing refrigerated separately.).
  • Place chopped kale in a very large bowl. Sprinkle surface with almonds and then with cheese and shredded turkey. Remove and discard garlic cloves from dressing. Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss. Taste for dressing and salt and add more as needed, tossing to coat thoroughly. Top with turkey cracklings. Serve within 1 hour.