Every Monday for the next several weeks, we’re talking with a range of people — from restaurant chefs to home cooks — about holiday food traditions from different communities throughout Southern California.
It’s a series we’re calling “Dishing Up the Holidays.” Last week we heard about a stellar mac and cheese recipe. This week, we talk turkey with Javier Cabral.
Chile Roasted Turkey with gravy from Javier Cabral’s mom
20 dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
8 dried chiles de arbol, stemmed
8 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cloves
8 saltine crackers
2 medium carrots
½ bunch of celery
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 cup flour
8 cups chicken or turkey stock
Recipe is for a 16 pound turkey.
Place both types of chiles in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit until softened — about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the soaking liquid, and transfer the chiles to a blender with the garlic, cumin, cloves, crackers, and soaking liquid. Puree until smooth.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange neck and giblets on the bottom of a large roasting pan. Place turkey — breast side up — in pan. Season with salt and pepper and rub with 8 tablespoons unsalted butter. Roast until skin is golden brown, about 1 hour. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, pour chile sauce over turkey, and cook, basting every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thighs reads 165 degrees — about 2 hours. Transfer turkey to a cutting board. Pour pan drippings through a fine strainer into a bowl — discard solids.
Make the gravy. Return 1 cup fat from the drippings to the pan and place over two burners of the stove. Heat over medium-high heat. Roughly chop 2 carrots and half a bunch of celery and add to skillet, along with one medium yellow onion, roughly chopped. Cook — stirring — until soft, about 15 minutes. Add flour. Cook — stirring — until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook — stirring — until gravy thickens, about 15 minutes. Pour through a fine strainer into a serving bowl, and season with salt and pepper.