Friday, November 26, 2010

Malbec and Mole, or How to Transform Your Turkey Leftovers

I love turkey leftovers--the day after Thanksgiving. Then, I want nothing more to do with turkey, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes. I crave spice and warmth and something that will go with red wine. So what do you do with the leftover turkey? I'm too busy to make soup!

First, dive into your wine closet or go out and buy a nice, affordable bottle of Malbec, like the very good QPR 2009 Budini Malbec from Argentina's Mendoza region. (suggested retail $13; available for $9-$14) This smooth, berry-inflected Malbec has rich, spicy notes as well as subtle, integrated tannins. It reminded me of an extremely well-made, fruit-forward Cabernet but happily was not manipulated into something else. The fruit-forwardness of the wine and the juicy aftertaste make it capable of handling something rich and spicy, like the recipe that follows.

Then, head to the market and pick up two 16 oz jars of medium-heat Roasted Chipotle Salsa and a small bar of 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate.

You are now set to make a quick and easy turkey mole to go with some rice, or some tortillas, or even some crusty bread. Butternut squash that has been peeled, cubed and tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper before putting it into a 450 oven for 15-18 minutes is good, too.

Quick and Easy Turkey Mole
Note: I adapted this recipe from a Wegman's recipe that calls for various Wegman's proprietary ingredients not available where I live. No leftover turkey? A rotisserie chicken works just fine.

1. Head a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add your leftover turkey (on the bone is fine, or large chunks of leftover meat. If the skin is still on it, you will want to cook it in a skillet on medium heat a bit to crisp up the skin and render the fat.) Cook for 3 minutes, turning once in the middle of the cooking time. Remove turkey and reserve.

2. Put 1/2 cup of water in the pan and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tsp cinnamon and the 2 jars of salsa. Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Remove lid, and cook for a further 6 minutes or so until the liquid is reduced a bit.

3. Reduce heat to low. Then add 1.5 oz of the chocolate, chopped into small pieces. Stir until melted.

4. Return turkey to pan and warm through on low for 8-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a nice glass of Malbec, some accompaniments like squash/rice/bread, a cool salad of avocado, tomato, and red onion and you are all set.

Full Disclosure: I received a sample of this wine for review.


California Girl said...

I enjoy your wine suggestions and I have a wonderful Cooking Light mole recipe I'll try with it as well. It doesn't appear I can find the Malbec you recommend but we have others in the NH State stores I will pick up. Malbec is becoming very popular now as I'm seeing it frequently at wine tastings.

Dr. Debs said...

Malbec, like Tempranillo, is a great alternative to Cabernet Sauvignon in my opinion. Good luck with the Malbec--and the Mole.