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Roasted Turkey with Red Chile Gravy

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I know a lot of you are looking for ways to mix up your annual menu while keeping all the staples and family favorites. This is my take on the classic turkey that we serve at my house! Hope you all have a great time with your family and loved ones.

Servings: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 5 hours




  • 1 turkey (approximately 14 pounds), thoroughly thawed if frozen

  • Salt

  • 1½ cups Chile Colorado Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more if necessary

  • 1 quart chicken stock (low-sodium, store-bought is fine)

  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour

Chile Colorado Sauce

  • 3 medium Spanish or white onions, quartered

  • 8 medium fresh tomatillos, husked and washed

  • 4 plum tomatoes, cored and quartered

  • 8 whole garlic cloves, peeled

  • Olive oil, for drizzling

  • 1 ancho chile (½ ounce), stemmed, seeded, and deveined

  • 2 guajillo chiles (½ ounce), stemmed, seeded, and deveined

  • 1 quart chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper



Chile Colorado Sauce

Makes 2 Quarts

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Put the onion, tomatillos, tomatoes and garlic on a baking pan and drizzle them with olive oil. Put the baking sheet under the broiler and cook without turning until the vegetables start to get charred, about 7 minutes. Remove, set aside, and let cool to room temperature.

3. In a large dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the guajillos, turning them over halfway through, just until they smell great, about 1 minute. Transfer them to a bowl, cover them with hot water and let them soak until they’re soft, about 30 minutes. Drain the chiles and discard the soaking water.

4. Combine the vegetables and chiles in a blender with the chicken stock (you’ll have to work in batches) and puree until the mixture is very smooth. Transfer each batch to a bowl as it’s done, and stir the batches together well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.


  1. The night before you plan to roast the turkey, pat the skin completely dry with paper towels and sprinkle salt lightly all over the skin. Rub about 1 teaspoon salt inside the walls of the turkey cavity. Rub ½ cup of the Chile Colorado Sauce all over the turkey, reaching under the skin to massage it into the breast meat and rubbing a few spoonfuls inside the cavity. Wrap the flap of the neck skin down over the cavity, tucking it under the body, and tuck the wing tips up under the breast. Set the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and cover it loosely with a plastic wrap. Let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

  2. At least 1 hour before you’ll cook it, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and let it stand uncovered so it comes to room temperature. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. While the oven is heating, rub the 2 tablespoons butter all over the skin of the turkey. Pour a cup of water into the bottom of the roasting pan.

  3. Roast the turkey for 1 hour.

  4. Remove the bird from the oven and brush it all over with ½ cup of the Chile Colorado Sauce. Pour another cup of water into the bottom of the pan. Tent the turkey loosely with a sheet of foil and return it to the oven. Roast the turkey until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 170°F, 2 to 3 hours more. Check it occasionally after 2 hours. If the bottom of the pan gets dry during roasting, add a little more water, ½ cup at a time.

  5. Transfer the turkey to a serving platter and let it rest for 30 minutes. (During this time, the temperature in the thigh will rise to 175°F.)

  6. Meanwhile, make the gravy, pour the pan juices into a heatproof glass 2-cup measure. Add ½ cup of the chicken stock to the juices in the roasting pan and swirl it, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Pour it all into the measuring cup. Skim off the fat, reserving it in an separate cup. If the pan juices and chicken stock do not make 2 cups, add more chicken stock to make 2 cups.

  7. Put 6 tablespoons of the reserved fat in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. (If there is not enough fat, add butter until you have 6 tablespoons total.) Whisk in the flour and the remaining ½ cup Chile Colorado Sauce, and cook over medium heat, whisking continually for 3 minutes, until the mixture is very thick. Pour in the pan juices in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Whisk in the remaining chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking now and then, until the gravy is thick and smooth, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

  8. Serve the turkey with the gravy.

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