I really can not help it, but even before I put the turkey in the oven for Thanksgiving, I am already contemplating what I am going to do with the leftovers. On the simple side, I love just a turkey sandwich on soft white bread smothered with mayonnaise. Or if I am in the mood for the good old hungry man meal – I throw a couple of pieces of toast on a plate, pile on some turkey, and then drown with enough gravy to clog at least one artery. At some point though, I have to mix it up and really convert the leftovers into something far from Thanksgiving tradition. Inspired by a recipe we found a couple years ago in a Cooking Light Holiday cookbook, comes this posole recipe using leftover turkey scraps.
The original recipe called for a few things I didn’t care to see in a posole – carrots, celery, and tomato puree. It also did not have near the chile that a real posole should have so I added the dried pasillas and guajillos. The result is a pretty good take on posole, albeit not as rich (or greasy) as a traditional pork version, but definitely a lighter rendition and great change of pace from turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy. Personally, I can’t just eat soup for dinner, so I went the extra mile and also made chile rellenos to make it a full on Mexican meal.
Serve with a cold Corona and let the thankfulness flow.
Leftover turkey carcass
2 Bay leaves
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
1 onion quartered
2 celery stalks chopped
2 (12) oz cans chicken stock
3 cups of water
Salt & Pepper
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (NOTE!!! Not 2 cans of chipotle peppers – just 2 of the peppers from the can)
5 dried Pasilla peppers
3 dried Guajillo peppers
1 (12) oz can chicken stock
2 cups of water
1 can hominy
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp dried Mexican oregano
Diced white onion
Menudo spice mix
After stuffing your family with turkey, put a large pot on to boil with the turkey carcass (I also throw in the wings and drumsticks) and all ingredients for the turkey stock listed above. Add more chicken stock/water to cover the turkey parts if needed. If you want to keep the broth clean, the best way is to remove all the edible meat from the bones after 30 minutes or so of simmering. Reserve that meat and then continue cooking down the stock for an additional 2 hours minimum. You can then strain the stock at the end and just throw away all the junk left in the colander. I was very lazy this year and just let it all simmer for 3 hours and ended up picking the bones out later. Either way – put the cooked down stock in the fridge until the next day.
The next day, prepare the posole broth by simmering the peppers in the broth and water for 20 minutes. Once the peppers are soft, add the mixture to a blender in batches and blend (careful not to explode the hot contents all over the kitchen). While this is blending, put the turkey stock onto the stove and bring to a simmer.
Strain the blended posole sauce into the turkey stock, making sure to catch any pepper flakes in your strainer that didn’t blend enough. Add the reserved turkey meat, hominy, cumin, and Mexican oregano then let it all simmer for 15 minutes. Serve in big bowls and put the topping options on the table.
6 Anaheim peppers
1 cup of flour
First, you need to roast and remove the skin from the peppers. Start by roasting the peppers under the broiler on the middle rack to char the skin – turning once – this takes about 5 minutes. Once they are done, remove from the oven and seal in a Ziploc bag for about 5-10 minutes (this makes the skin come off much easier). When cool enough to work with, remove from the bag and pull the skin from the peppers.
To prep the batter, separate the eggs. I use 3 bowls to do this – 1 to keep the whites in, 1 to keep the yolks in, and 1 to break the next egg in. This way, if you break a yolk while cracking/separating, you don’t ruin the rest of the whites you already cracked.
Preheat a large frying pan with enough oil to line the bottom. Then beat the whites with a beater on high until they stiffen and form peaks – this takes about 3-5 minutes. Mix the yolks with a dash of flour and then fold the yolks into the egg whites. The result should be a very fluffy batter.
Put the flour in a bowl large enough to dredge the pepper in and sprinkle in about 1 tsp salt. Set up your station by lining up the bowl of the flour, then the batter, and then your frying pan. The pan should be hot enough that it sizzles if you drop a splash of water in, but not smoking/burning.
Lightly dredge a pepper in the flour on both sides. Dip the pepper in the egg mix and cover uniformly, pulling straight up so that any excess batter slides off (if it drips off, your batter isn’t thick enough). Lay the battered pepper in the frying pan and repeat until the pan is full, but not overcrowded. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then flip and allow to fry another 3 minutes. Once the peppers are browned on both sides, remove and place on a paper towel to drain the oil. Serve with your favorite sauce – I prefer a rojo enchilada sauce, but verde or salsa is just fine.