Leftovers are the best part of any holiday. Feel free to disagree, of course, but I’d rather have a hot turkey sandwich than a hot turkey dinner. Yeah, I probably lost some people there. Here in Canada, we just wrapped up Thanksgiving. And now, households across the country have the same problem – an excess of turkey. And while that is one of those good problems to have, I know from personal experience you can eat too many turkey sandwiches. A few days after a major holiday, it’s totally normal to want something that in no way resembles a festive meal. That’s why I like to take what remains of the day and turn it into a dish like these Charred Poblano Turkey Enchiladas.
Around this time last year, I brought you these Leftover Turkey Samosas for the exact same reason. I didn’t want my dinner to look or taste like leftovers. But I still wanted to be a responsible human and avoid food waste. This year, I opted to take leftover turkey, introduce it to some hot sauce and roll it up in a tortilla. And unsurprisingly, the results were very pleasing.
Now, full disclosure, I didn’t actually make these Charred Poblano Turkey Enchiladas with leftover turkey. Mostly because I shot this recipe weeks ago and turkey dinners aren’t a common occurrence in my house. But I also wanted to make sure that if you didn’t have a festive feast lurking in your fridge, you could still make these enchiladas from scratch. So, I roasted two turkey thighs because dark meat forever. And I’m happy to report that they gave me more than enough meat to make these. I would imagine a single turkey breast would do the trick as well if you’re more of a white meat person.
Okay, so with your turkey meat acquired by whatever means necessary, let’s make these enchiladas. Any pyros in the house? You’re really going to love the first step because we’re going to char some poblano peppers over an open flame. Yes, turn on your gas burner, grab a pair of tongs and plunge that pepper into the flames. It makes for great ASMR, by the way. Rice Krispies wish they sounded this good. If you don’t have a gas stove, don’t worry. Simply pop the peppers under the broiler and don’t move them until they blister. Give them a quick flip and repeat.
Once your peppers are blistered, we’re going to pop one in a food processor and dice the others. The blitz pepper will find its way into the enchilada sauce and the diced poblanos will hang out with the turkey. So with the peppers in their proper places, it’s time to tackle the enchilada sauce. And yes, we’re making our own enchilada sauce. Why? Because it is easier than you think and tastier than the bottled stuff.
Enchilada sauce starts as any thick and glossy sauce does, with a roux. Now, I added a little masa harina with the usual flour. I like the warm corn flavor it lends to the finished sauce. It is not as successful at thickening a sauce as flour, so you still need the all-purpose to get you the texture you’re looking for. But the masa harina does add a touch of body and some extra depth of flavor.
So, once you’ve got a roux going, you’re going to add a medley of spices and a dollop of tomato paste. The tomato paste mostly adds a hit of sweetness rather than a strong tomato flavor. And then, we begin whisking in our liquid. I used boxed chicken stock for this. But if you happened to have made turkey stock with the bones leftover from your feast, that is most definitely the better choice. And finally, we add the blitzed poblano and a little hot sauce for a bit of acidity and a little extra heat. And that’s your enchilada sauce. See? It really is that easy.
Now that you’ve got your sauce ready to go, we’re going to pour some of that over the turkey and diced poblano peppers. Give it a toss and there’s your filling done. Next, we’re going to pour some of the sauce into the dish we’ll be baking the enchiladas in. Using the back of a spoon, spread the sauce to form a nice, thin, and even layer. From here, it’s a simple case of rolling the filling up inside of some tortillas. I used corn tortillas for this but you could easily use flour if that is your preference. If you are using corn tortillas, make sure you pop them in the microwave for a quick 15-second blast. The warmer the tortillas are, the more flexible they become. If you roll a cold corn tortilla, it may crack. Place your little tortilla cigars in the casserole dish, seam side down.
Then, we’re going to take whatever enchilada sauce we have leftover and pour it over the tortillas. Cover the sauce with cheese and pop the dish in the oven. You don’t have to bake the enchiladas for long. You basically just want the cheese to melt and the turkey to be heated through, which shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes. And from here, it’s a simple case of topping the enchiladas with a little Avocado Salsa, which you can easily whip up while they’re in the oven, some sour cream, hot sauce, and fresh cilantro.
And there you have it – Charred Poblano Turkey Enchiladas with Avocado Salsa. A satisfying dish, that makes good use of holiday leftovers while tasting nothing like the meal it came from. A great change of pace, when you have a mountain of meat and potatoes to plow through.
Charred Poblano Turkey Enchiladas with Avocado Salsa
- 11×7 oval casserole dish
- 3 poblano peppers
- 2 cups cooked, shredded turkey meat **
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ cup neutral oil I used canola
- 2 tbsp masa harina optional
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1½ cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tbsp hot sauce
- 8 corn or flour tortillas
- ½ cup cheddar shredded
- ¾ cup monterey jack shredded
- 1 avocado diced
- 1 shallot halved
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1-2 jalapeños quartered, sliced
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup sour cream
- fresh cilantro
- hot sauce
- Preheat the oven 375° F.
- Place the peppers over an open flame and blister them on all sides. If you don't have a gas stove, place the peppers under the broiler, turning them frequently to ensure they blister on all sides.3 poblano peppers
- Once the peppers are blistered, cut them in half and remove the seeds. Place one pepper in a food processor and blitz. Transfer to a bowl and set it aside. Dice the remaining peppers and place them in a large bowl. Add the turkey meat and set it aside as well.3 poblano peppers, 2 cups cooked, shredded turkey meat **
- Place the chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, ground coriander, and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set it aside.2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp ground coriander, ½ tsp kosher salt
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Whisk in the flour, masa harina, and spice blend. Add the tomato paste and sauté briefly. Gradually whisk in the chicken stock and continue to whisk until a thick glossy sauce forms, about 10 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce, lime juice, and the blitzed poblano pepper.¼ cup neutral oil, 2 tbsp masa harina, 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 1½ cups low sodium chicken stock, 1 tbsp hot sauce, 1 lime
- Pour 1/2 a cup of the sauce over the turkey and poblano mixture and toss to coat. Pour another 1/2 a cup of the sauce into a casserole dish and use the back of a spoon to create a thin, even layer. Set the filling and the casserole dish aside.
- Place roughly 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center of a corn tortilla and roll it into a cigar shape. Place the tortilla in the casserole dish seam-side-down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.8 corn or flour tortillas
- Once all the tortillas are in the casserole dish, cover them with the remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle the cheeses over top. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling. Let cool for 10 minutes beofre serving.½ cup cheddar, ¾ cup monterey jack
For the Salsa
- While the enchiladas are in the oven, make the salsa. Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and toss to disperse and coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.1 avocado, 1 shallot, 1 clove garlic, 1-2 jalapeños, 1 lime, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp kosher salt
- Top the enchiladas with the salsa, a few dollops of sour cream and hot sauce, and a couple of sprigs of fresh cilantro. Serve immediately with cold beers.½ cup sour cream, hot sauce, fresh cilantro