Mole Turkey with Brut Sparkling Rose Wine for Holidays

Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving with family and friends! This holiday’s cooking was a bit unusual for me. Shortly after buying a turkey for Thanksgiving, I unexpectedly got a turkey as a gift from my boss. Looking at the two birds side by side, I decided to experiment on one bird with a Mexican-style mole sauce for our Thanksgiving meal. If it came out inedible, I figured I’d cook the other bird a little less experimentally. Fortunately, the turkey covered with the delicious Mexican mole sauce tasted so wonderfully that I didn’t have to touch the other bird. The day after Thanksgiving, instead of joining black Friday shoppers, I took some of the left-over mole turkey and had Mexican workers at the factory judge my cooking. They told me that mine did taste differently from what they usually ate at home. Their authentic mole sauce was apparently sweeter than my version. Nevertheless, they described mine as “rico”, “saboroso” and “delicioso”. Next time they even want me to bring a bigger container for them. If you’re planning on cooking a turkey for Christmas and want to try something different, here is my recipe.

First, I place a 10 oz turkey in a large pot and cover with salted water (I put about ½ cup salt). Then I bring it to boil and simmer for about 45 minutes with the cover. Separately, in a food processor, I blend 1 big ancho chili, 2 cloves garlic, 2 onions, 2 green peppers, 2 slices of bread, ½ cup almonds, 1 lb tomatoes, 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons coriander, 4 whole cloves, 1 Tablespoon seas salt, and some freshly ground black pepper until smooth. Then I heat the pot with some extra virgin olive oil and cook the sauce for 5 minutes. Subsequently, I add 1 oz unsweetened dark chocolate and 1 chicken bouillons to the sauce and melt them. Separately, I pour out the boiling water from the turkey and place the bird on the baking sheet. Then I coat it inside and outside with the mole sauce and bake it for about 45 minutes to an hour at 350F. Before serving, I scrape the mole sauce from the bottom of the baking sheet to pour on the meat and garnish with some chopped fresh parsley leaves.

I am pairing this mole turkey with Mumm Napa Brut Sparkling Rose wine from California. Rich with strawberry, cherry and apple notes, this bubbly made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes is awesome for the holiday turkey. Not only does the acidity of this bubbly match the thick mole sauce beautifully, but it also harmonizes the toasty nuttiness of almonds and sesame seeds in the mole sauce. This wine is so vibrant and refreshing that it feels like a dazzling sunset on a gorgeous summer night. Who wouldn’t want it on a cold winter night? I wish you and your family very happy and warm holidays!

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