Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Turkey is NOT from Turkey!

Around 1519, conquistador Hernando Cortez returned to Spain with a bird introduced to him by the Native Americans of Mexico. The peculiar bird confused all of Europe. The French thought it was from India and so named it dindon, from Poulites d'Inde. The Germans, Dutch, and Swedes agreed that the bird was Indian, they named it kilcon after Calcutta. By the time the trend reached England, rumor had it that the bird was from Turkey, and so that became its name. However, the Wild Turkey is native to the forests of North America, and the Ocellated Turkey is native to the forests of the Yucatan Peninsula. 

So, what better cuisine than that of Mexico to utilize your leftover turkey? In fact, I roast a turkey every year just to make these delicious enchiladas! Everyone I've ever given this recipe to makes these after Thanksgiving, every year! Serve with refried beans, leftover corn souffle (which I always have after Thanksgiving), a big green salad perked up with orange segments, sliced red onions and sliced avocados. Beer and/or sangria, chips, salsa and guacamole round out the meal. Enchiladas buena!

The Great After-Thanksgiving Turkey Enchiladas

Serves 6


For the sauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1, 28-oz can enchilada sauce
5 plum tomatoes, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chiles
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the enchiladas
3 cups coarsely shredded cooked turkey
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (divided into 1 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 canola oil
12, 5-6" corn tortillas


Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add enchilada sauce, tomatoes and chipotles. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover; simmer 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat. Stir in 1/2 cup cilantro. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Mix turkey, 1 1/2 cups cheese, sour cream, 1/4 cup onions and 1/2 cup cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1/2 cup canola oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Cook 1 tortilla until pliable, about 20 seconds per side. (Don't fry them!) Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce in 13x9x2" baking dish. Making one at a time, spoon 1/4 cup turkey mixture in the center of each tortilla. Roll up tortilla and arrange seam side down in baking dish. When all the enchiladas are nestled in neatly, spoon 2 1/2 cups sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake enchiladas until heated through, about 30 minutes.

Rewarm remaining sauce in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Transfer to a sauceboat. Serve enchiladas, passing sauce separately. Delicioso!

History of the turkey from Recipe from Bon Appetit.

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