“There’s a little turkey at Eight Mile Creek Farm in upstate New York who will soon sacrifice her life for our Thanksgiving meal. We’ve named her Patita, after our good friend Pati Jinich, a brilliant and effervescent Mexican cook, television show host, and cookbook author. It’s Pati’s recipe for Mexican Turkey that we will use to honor the life of the bird who will grace our table as we give deep thanks for everything we have and everything we’re able to share with our friends this year.
This recipe leaves the turkey with wonderful depth, without being overly complicated. By roasting the bird on top of a layer of onions and tomatoes, the meat takes on a ton of flavor, and what remains transforms into a rich, Mexican-influenced gravy…”
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The Kitchn: Pati Jinich’s Mexican Thanksgiving Turkey
I hadn’t heard about Thanksgiving until I moved to Texas. Yet, I took my first shot at cooking the meal that cold fall of 1997 in the vast yellow plains of Dallas. Inspired by the glossy food magazines, cookbooks and TV shows, and wanting to immerse myself in the American experience, I baked, cooked and stirred while feeling homesick for my family’s home-cooking. It took years of living in the US for me to grasp the depth and warmth of the holiday and the menu, many failed turkeys and side dishes along the way.
It turns out, fifteen years later, the Thanksgiving feast has become such a relevant part of our lives that if we ever moved back to Mexico, I’d have to bring it back with us.
The connection wasn’t instantaneous. Slowly, some elements began to resonate within me. Take the bird: Turkey is an indigenous ingredient in Mexican cookery and a center piece for Christmas and the New Year. Both are holidays which also happen near the end of the year, during the coldest season, and have to do with gathering family and friends around a plentiful table. And being thankful. And hopeful.
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