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  • Mike Reeber

Turkey Enchiladas Colorado


Living in Texas, enchiladas come in practically all shapes and sizes. Some are the size of a small baseball bat, smothered in red sauce and covered with bubbling cheese, while others are a fraction of the size without cheese. Some are TexMex and others are more traditional Mexican. All I know is that I haven't met an enchilada that I didn't like. Shocking, I know.


Though I love a good TexMex enchilada, the more traditional version is what I enjoy most. Typically, these are made with smaller tortillas and topped with a bold sauce, like molé or Colorado sauce. If you like the flavor or molé, but don't have the time to make a batch(which can take a good while), then this sauce just might be the answer. Colorado sauce is bright, bold and has a great amount of smokiness to it. In my version, I use three types of chili peppers to give the sauce depth and plenty of flavor. It's simple to make and because of that can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for up to a week. This makes it great for turkey camp.


One of my favorite ways to use a turkey breast from a previous hunt is to shred it. It's a simple way to cook the meat and allows for the turkey to absorb cooking liquid and sauce. Therefore, you don't end up with anything drying out. This is also good to cook ahead and to keep in the fridge.


Ingredients for the turkey:

1 skinless turkey breast

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp garlic powder

3 cups of chicken broth

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste


Ingredients for the Colorado sauce:

1/2 white onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp flour

4 cups of water

3 Tbsp sugar

2 Ancho chile's, dried, split in half, seeds removed

2 Guajillo chile's, dried, split in half, seeds removed

2 New Mexico chile's, dried, split in half, seeds removed

2 Tbsp of olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste


Additional Ingredients:

6-8 Tortillas

Cilantro, chopped

Queso fresco, crumbled


To make the turkey, season a skinless turkey breast with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. In a small stock pot, heat the olive oil and add the turkey breast. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, just to get some color. Next, add the chicken broth and turn the heat to high. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the turkey from the pot, let cool and shred. At this point, you can keep the shredded meat by itself or return it back to the cooking liquid.



For the Colorado sauce, first bring four cups of water to a boil, you'll need this in a few minutes. Next, heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and do not add any oil. Once the pan is hot, lay each of the peppers down, skin-side out. The goal here is to wake these peppers up a bit, not to char them, so be careful! After 5 or so minutes, remove the peppers from the pan. They should be fragrant, but not cooked. Add the peppers to a bowl, along with 4 cups of boiling water. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. At this point, the peppers will start softening up, making them perfect to blend. After they've had a chance to sit in the water, place the peppers and water into a blender or food processor. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL when working with hot liquids!!! Blend the peppers until smooth. Set aside.


Heat a small pot(large enough to hold the peppery liquid) over medium high heat and sauté the garlic and onion with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Once the garlic and onion has had a chance to cook down for 5-8 minutes, add in the puréed peppers and reduce the heat to low. At this point, make a slurry with the flour and enough water just to make it a liquid. Add to the sauce and stir in. By making the flour slurry, you'll avoid having pockets of dried flour inside of your sauce, because no one enjoys that bite. Add the sugar and continue to simmer the sauce on low for 45 minutes. Depending on the peppers that you used, you might need to adjust the seasoning to ensure that the sauce is well balanced. Always taste it prior to serving! It should be smokey, a little sweet and full of flavor.


Once the sauce has had time to reduce, assemble the enchiladas. I like to dip each tortilla into the pot of sauce, using tongs, then add the turkey to the inside and roll onto a plate. Top each with more Colorado sauce, cilantro and queso fresco.

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