Each family has their own traditions and list of essential dishes for their turkey feast but I’m pretty sure gravy is always included. Maybe not ancho chile gravy but some kind of gravy…and probably plenty of it.
Gravy is often thickened using wheat flour or cornstarch but this recipe uses masa harina. Sometimes simply referred to as masa, this corn flour is naturally gluten free and is used to make soft, fresh corn tortillas. It is available in Latin American markets or anywhere you buy Mexican ingredients. Once you have some you will want to try making fresh corn tortillas with it.
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The cuisine of the American southwest uses a variety of chiles and in this menu they are highlighted in the ancho chile gravy plus they are used in the Cornbread Chorizo Stuffing and the Cranberry Orange and Cilantro Salsa so a little chile knowledge is required.
Producers continue to grow new and unusual chiles and grocers continue to offer an ever increasing variety of choice. Chiles are sold both dried and fresh each having their own unique taste and amount of heat. Generally the bigger the chile the less heat it has. This unique gravy uses mild ancho and poblano chiles that are packed with flavour, not heat.
We all know that when grapes are dried we call them raisins. But then when cranberries or apricots are dried they are simply referred to as dried cranberries or dried apricots. I don’t know who is in charge of this naming system but it isn’t me. To make it easier to remember when talking about dried and fresh chiles I simply write fresh poblano chile or dried ancho chile in my recipes.
I finally know what the ancho and poblano chiles look like but for many years I did a quick check on Google images before my trip to the grocery store, just to make sure I knew what I was looking for. Despite the amazing variety in the produce section the signs are sometimes missing and may be incorrect.
Fresh chiles are often charred, then steamed and peeled to impart a wonderful, smoky flavour to dishes they are used in. For my Turkey Feast this is how the poblano chiles are prepared. Dried chiles can also be blackened in a hot, non-stick pan on the stove. They are then soaked and both the chile and the soaking liquid can be used.
My best tip for gravy making is to get a gravy separator, it makes the job easier. Since I only use it at this time of year I store it inside my turkey roaster along with the instructions that I cut from the packaging. Maybe you think it’s intuitive to use but I didn’t.
I hope this information is brief enough to encourage you to give this ancho chile gravy recipe a try. It is always a big hit so the recipe makes what I think is a generous portion but in my house, there is always turkey leftover after the gravy.
In the comments below I’d love to hear some gravy stories from your house.
|2 fresh poblano chiles|
|2 dried ancho chiles|
|½ cup soaking liquid|
|¼ cup masa harina|
|1-2 cups GF chicken stock if needed|
|salt and pepper to taste|
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