Luis Negrete shares his recipe for Turkey with Oaxacan Mole Negro and sweet corn tamales, a favorite Thanksgiving dish
Note: Mole can be made from scratch or using a store-bought paste found in Mexican supermarkets, i.e. black mole from Oaxaca or Mole from Puebla. If using store-bought paste, combine it with ½ cup heated pork lard and sauté for a few minutes. Add chicken broth and stir until fully dissolved and desired thickness is reached.
8 lb. turkey breast and sauce serve about 10 people.
- In a pot, add water, salt, bay leaves, black pepper, thyme.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
- Put the turkey breast (or leg and thigh, if preferred) in the pot and cook for approximately 30 to 40 minutes or until cooked. The time will depend on size of turkey breast and the size of the pot and amount of water.
- Let rest for a few minutes.
- When ready to serve, slice turkey breast and place on plate. Add mole sauce on top. Add toasted sesame seeds. Garnish with a few parsley leaves.
Sweet corn tamales
- 2.2 lbs corn kernels (about 5 or 6 cobs)
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup masa harina (Maseca or any other brand)
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- Cut off the two ends of the corn cob.
- With a sharp knife, remove the kernels over a large bowl. Cut from the base downward with a gentle sawing motion.
- Working in batches, place the corn in a food processor or blender and grind them lightly. The tamale’s texture depends how finely you grind the corn.
- Place the corn into a large bowl. If the mixture is too runny, place it in a colander and let it drain for a couple of minutes.
- Beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy and almost white.
- Add the butter to the bowl with corn and mix in the flours until everything is combined.
- Put about 3T of the corn mixture in the middle of a husk. Fold in carefully so the dough won’t come out.
- Arrange the tamales in a steaming pot. Steam for 80-90 minutes.
If the corn is very juicy, place it in a colander for 10 to 15 minutes to drain excess liquid. If you use dried corn husks, it’s necessary to hydrate them in warm water for 20 minutes, then dry them very well before using them.
Mole sauce can be made in advance and then refrigerated or frozen. Negrete recommends making it at least a day in advance, which allows the ingredients to blend.
- 8 dried black chilhuacle peppers
- 6 dried mulato peppers
- 6 dried pasilla peppers
- 2 white onions
- 7 garlic cloves
- 3 ripe roma tomatoes
- 8 green tomatillos
- 1 ripe plantain
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts
- ¼ cup almonds
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of clove
- 4 star anise pods
- 1 tablespoon allspice
- 1 stick of Mexican cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1 spoon of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of marjoram
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 avocado leaves
- 1 corn tortilla
- 1 piece of day-old bread
- 3 teaspoons of sugar
- 80 grams of chocolate (preferably from Oaxaca)
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound of pork lard
- Heat a skillet and toast the peppers for a couple of minutes until fragrant, then remove and place in hot water.
- Sautee onions and garlic in low/medium heat; add tomatoes and tomatillos.
- When soft, move to a blender and add one cup of chicken broth. Blend until you have a uniform paste.
- Heat a pan on low/medium heat and add a bit of lard, then add all the fruit and spices and fry for a few minutes.
- Add the herbs, tortilla, and bread, stirring constantly.
- After a few minutes, remove and put in blender with one cup of chicken broth. Blend until you have a uniform paste.
- In a pot, add lard and set heat to medium/high.
- Place all ingredients, plus the remaining chicken broth, and stir occasionally.
- When ingredients start to boil, reduce heat to low and cook for a couple of hours or until you reach desired thickness.
Want more great family Thanksgiving recipes? Read 5 Thanksgiving Family Recipes and Traditions from Around the World.