Yum! Turkey Al Mole, Arroz Con Coco: Latino Thanksgiving Recipes

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Image: Turkey Mole
Chef Felipe Donnelly’s Turkey Al Mole. Donnelly and his wife Tamy Rofe own two Brooklyn, New York restaurants, Cómodo and Colonia Verde.Felipe Donnelly

So many of us blend our different ancestries at the dinner table, especially during the holidays. Here are two wonderful Thanksgiving dishes with Mexican and Colombian elements from Felipe Donnelly and his wife Tamy Rofe, owners of the restaurants Cómodo and Colonia Verde in Brooklyn, New York, followed by a delicious Mexican Turkey With Chorizo, Apple, Corn Bread and Pecan Stuffing from celebrated TV chef Pati Jinich.

Turkey "al mole"

Image: Turkey Mole
Chef Felipe Donnelly’s Turkey Al Mole. Donnelly and his wife Tamy Rofe own two Brooklyn, New York restaurants, Cómodo and Colonia Verde.Felipe Donnelly

From Chef Donnelly: Here is my Mexican American dish. I separated the turkey skin from the meat and “stuffed” the mole in between the meat and the skin. The result was a delicious crispy skin with a lovely bitter & spicy note when breaking in. I also stuffed some butter into it to help cook and add juiciness. The rosemary added a significant fragrance to the mole which really came out in a beautiful tone.


1 20-lb Turkey

2 Long Rosemary branches

10 Chile Anchos (smoked pobalno pepper)

10 Chile Guajillos

20 Chipotle moritas

1 cup of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

¼ of dark chocolate

¼ cup of apple cider vinegar

4 table spoons of chopped garlic

1 cup of butter

4 cups of fresh orange juice

Place a pot of water to simmer. Add all the dried chiles into the pot and let simmer for 10 mintues. Turn off the heat and let sit covered for another 10 mintues. Remove all the chiles from the water, place the water aside we will use it later. Cut all the chiles in half (using rubber gloves) and devein and deseed the chiles. Throw out the seeds and veins. Place all the chiles back into the water and begin to reduce the liquid by half. Place in blender and pass through a sieve whole, pressing the pulp through. Through out the solids and keep the smooth pulp. Set aside in a pot. In a pan add a small amount olive oil, and the garlic and 4 Tbs of fresh chopped rosemary. When the oil gets hot, add the rosemary then add the pepitas. You are going to move them around a lot as you do no want to burn them. Remove the mix from the pan and add it to the mole. Clean the pan by adding the vinegar and letting it reduce a bit. Then add the vinegar to the mole. Take one more pass through the blender to chop up the pepitas, rosemary and garlic, then return to pot. Bring the mole to s slow simmer, add the chocolate and salt, and then for about 20 minutes continue to move the mole until its nice and thick, your mole is now ready!

For the turkey, use a spoon and slowly begin to separate the skin from the meat by passing the spoon through an opening near the neck. Begin to spoon through the mole through out all the turkey so that the sauce is in between the meat and the skin. Add some butter through out the turkey as well.

Place the turkey in a roasting pan. Place the orange juice in the pan and place in the oven at 325 degrees. Cover the turkey in aluminum paper. Cook the turkey for about 5 to 6 hours. About every hour open the oven and baste the turkey with the juices. Making sure that the skin is wet all around. The last hour of cooking, remove the aluminum in order to get the skin nice and golden.

Once out of the oven let rest for about 30 minutes before carving. Keep some mole on the side to serve with the turkey.

Arroz con Coco

Image: Arroz Con Coco (Rice and Coconut)
Chef Felipe Donnelly’s Arroz Con Coco (Rice and Coconut). Donnelly and his wife Tamy Rofe are owners of two New York restaurants, Cómodo and Colonia Verde in Brooklyn, New York.Felipe Donnelly

From Chef Donnelly: Now moving on to the Colombian coast, here is a recipe for Arroz con Coco, or coconut rice that is simply amazing and the perfect accompaniment to Thanksgiving. Arroz con Coco is the perfect sweet and savory dish and can be paired with almost any meat. The process for cooking sounds complicated, but in truth is not at all.


2 cups of long grain rice

1 can coconut milk

2 cups of water

1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ dark brown sugar

½ cup of raisins

Reduce one can of coconut milk with 1 cup of shredded un sweetened coconut until there is no liquid left. Keep scraping the bottom of the pan and get all that brown goodness. Add 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar and mix well. Add two cups of white rice and two cups of water and mix well. Put flame to medium and leave pot open. once the water level reaches the rice add 1/2 cup of raisins to the top and another 1/2 cup of water. cook for 30 min with lid on. fluff with fork and let rest for 10 min. DONE!

Mexican Thanksgiving Turkey with Chorizo, Pecan, Apple, and Corn Bread Stuffing

Image: Chef Pati Jinich's Mexican turkey
Chef Pati Jinich's Mexican turkey.Penny de los Santos

Celebrated cookbook author and acclaimed Pati's Mexican Table TV host chef Pati Jinich - who is of Mexican-Jewish ancestry - comes a turkey with a citrusy marinade that includes some of her favorite spices. The adobo she uses for her Mexican Thanksgiving Turkey is a mashup of all the flavors she loves - anato, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves, and she marinates it in grapefruit, orange and lime juice. She explains this is a Yucatan style recipe which ends in wrapping the turkey in banana leaves.


Serves 10 to 12



12 garlic cloves, unpeeled

6 tablespoons seasoned achiote paste, from a bar (preferably not from a jar)

4 cups homemade chicken broth or canned chicken or vegetable broth

4 cups bitter orange juice or a mixture of 1 cup each freshly squeezed orange juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Turkey, Stuffing, and Gravy:

16- to 18-pound turkey, patted dry

A heavy-duty plastic bag large enough to hold the turkey

Unsalted butter for the baking dish

4 red onions, sliced

8 ripe tomatoes (about 2 pounds), coarsely chopped, or one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped

Chorizo, Pecan, Apple, and Corn Bread Stuffing (recipe follows)

2–3 banana leaves (optional)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

To Prepare

TO MAKE THE MARINADE: Place the garlic on a baking sheet or in a broilerproof skillet. Broil, turning halfway through, until the papery skin of the garlic is burned and the cloves soften, about 6 to 9 minutes. Peel. In a blender or food processor, working in two batches, combine the garlic with the achiote paste, chicken broth, bitter orange juice, oregano, cumin, allspice, salt, and pepper and puree until smooth.

TO MARINATE THE TURKEY: Slide the turkey, breast side down, into a heavy-duty plastic bag large enough to hold the turkey. Pour the marinade into the bag and massage it into the bird, working it into the cavity and all the crevices. Place the bag in a roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or up to 48 hours, turning the bird a couple of times to redistribute the marinade.

Set an oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 450°F. Butter a baking dish.

Spread the onions and tomatoes in a large roasting pan. Set the turkey, breast side up, on top of the vegetables in the pan (reserve the marinade). Stuff the main cavity with as much stuffing as it can hold. Place the rest of the stuffing in the baking dish; cover and refrigerate. Close the cavity by crossing the legs and tying with butcher’s twine. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Pour the remaining marinade over the turkey.

Roast the turkey for 30 minutes.

Cover the turkey with the banana leaves, if using. Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil, sealing it as best as you can. The less steam that escapes, the better. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, place the turkey back in the oven, and roast for 31⁄2 hours (or for at least 12 minutes per pound).

Remove the turkey from the oven and carefully remove the foil and leaves, being careful, as the steam is hot. Baste the turkey generously. Raise the temperature to 400°F and return the turkey to the oven and roast for 15 minutes more. The meat should be completely cooked through and nearly falling off the bone. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest, loosely covered with aluminum foil, while you make the gravy. Leave the oven on.

Meanwhile, strain the cooking juices into a medium saucepan, pressing on the solids with the back of the spoon to get as much liquid as possible; discard the solids. Set aside 1 cup of the liquid for the reserved stuffing. You will make gravy with the rest. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour on top, mixing well with a wooden spoon, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, letting it gently bubble, until the roux is golden brown. Add the rest of the liquid and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is a brick color and has thickened to the consistency of light cream.

While the sauce thickens, pour the reserved 1 cup liquid over the stuffing in the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, or until it is hot throughout and the top is crisped.

Carve the turkey and serve with the stuffing.

Chorizo, Pecan, Apple, and Corn Bread Stuffing

Serves 10 to 12


1 pound Mexican chorizo, casings re- moved, coarsely chopped

11⁄2 white onions, chopped 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

4 celery stalks, thinly sliced (about 11⁄4 cups)

2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme

1⁄2 teaspoon dried marjoram

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

11⁄2 pounds corn bread, cubed (about 8 cups)

11⁄2 cups homemade chicken broth or canned chicken or vegetable broth

To Prepare

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the chorizo and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula, until browned and crisped, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, less than 1 minute. Add the celery, apples, pecans, thyme, marjoram, and salt and cook for 5 to 6 more minutes, until the celery and apples have softened.

Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Toss in the corn bread, pour over the chicken broth, and mix gently with a spatula or large wooden spoon until well combined.

--Compiled by Kristina Puga