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Turkey Enchiladas Verdes

“What to do with Leftover Turkey?”

This question plagues many in the days following Thanksgiving, especially after a few rounds of turkey sandwiches. The traditional answers to this vexing question—tetrazzinis, pot pies, hash—all have a special place in our hearts, but sometimes we demand “something completely different.” Instead of dishes that remind us of the same Thanksgiving flavor palate—creamy sauces, mirepoix, light seasoning—we are often drawn toward spicier fare to drive away the culinary doldrums. Let’s face it: though we can tweak and perfect the dishes we’re expected to serve on Thanksgiving, those dishes can be quite boring—spatchcocking and inventive rubs notwithstanding.

Onward, I say! Declare war against the staid rigidity of the Thanksgiving table; dance upon its grave by treating that treasure of leftover turkey with loud, vibrant flavors. Try this delicious Puerto Rican soup, redolent of habanero and olives… sliver the turkey into a Bun bowl for a nice lunch salad to take to work… cook up a mole sauce, green curry, or posole to gently reheat the turkey in… stuff it into some chiles relleños... Or make these Enchiladas Verdes: the tart tomatillos, sour-salty cotija, and fragrant roasted Poblanos are a welcome change of pace.

Turkey Enchiladas Verdes
4 to 6 servings

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread in a single layer in an oiled baking pan:
     1 pound tomatillos, husked
     1 medium poblano pepper, halved and seeded
     2 jalapeños, halved and seeded
     1 large onion, quartered
     12 garlic cloves, peeled
Roast until very soft, 40 to 45 minutes. While the vegetables are roasting, you should have enough time to make the filling and fill the tortillas. Combine in a bowl:
     2½ cups shredded cooked turkey
     ½ cup sour cream
     ½ cup finely-crumbled cotija or feta cheese
     2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
     1 teaspoon ground cumin
     1 teaspoon dried oregano
     ¼ teaspoon salt
Have ready:
     12 corn tortillas
Heat in a small skillet over medium heat until shimmering:
     ½ inch vegetable oil
Briefly fry the tortillas one at a time, about ten seconds on each side. Shake off the excess oil, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, and cover to keep warm until they are all done. To make each enchilada, spoon about 3 tablespoons of the turkey mixture down the center of a tortilla, then roll the tortilla up into a cylinder. Arrange the enchiladas seamside down in a 13 × 9-inch baking dish or other shallow baking dish large enough to hold them in one layer.
By this time, the vegetables should be done roasting. Transfer the vegetables, including the pan juices, to a blender or food processor, and add:
     ⅓ cup chopped cilantro stems
     ¼ cup chicken or turkey stock, or water
     Salt and black pepper to taste
Pulse until smooth, adding more stock if necessary to make a medium-bodied sauce. Cover the filled tortillas with the sauce. Bake the enchiladas until the sauce begins to bubble, about 10 minutes. Serve with:
     Sour cream
     Crumbled cotija or feta cheese
     Chopped cilantro
     Lime wedges


Frank Shmak's picture

Just made this and it turned out delicious! Definitely want to make this again when I have copious amounts of turkey.

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