Roger Feely's Thanksgiving Essential: Relleno Negro

Categories: Holiday Meals
SFoodie's series asking some of our favorite San Francisco food people about the dish they just can't celebrate Thanksgiving without.

Knowing that Roger Feely, aka Soul Cocina, has traveled and worked all over, SFoodie suspected that, when we interviewed him about his essential Thanksgiving dish, it wouldn't be candied yams with marshmallows.

Feely: I don't really celebrate Thanksgiving on a huge scale. I'm into traditions, but not really into the source of the holiday. But I often celebrate Thanksgiving with family, and they demand turkey. Since I don't like roasting turkey, I make something different. It's like the anti-turkey.

The dish I make the most offten is relleno negro, a dark turkey mole from the Yucatan. It's a bunch of charred chiles ― moritos, chiles negros, puyas ― with charred seeds and nuts that are ground to make a really dark mole. I make it with a turkey stock, and then it's basically a thick turkey soup.

Roger Feely
Last year's relleno negro.
I use the dark meat to make a sausage with coagulated pork blood, and in the center of the blood sausage is boiled eggs. We poach that in the turkey stock. The white meat gets slowly cooked and shredded, and the sausage is sliced into thick disks. Then everything is served in the black mole. (You can see pictures of last year's relleno negro on Soul Cocina's blog.)

it's a dish that I read about a bunch of times, and began making. but it wasn't until Poc-Chuc opened that I had a chance to try the original dish. Just by chance, mine turned out really similar to the way they did it. I always have lots of different family members that I celebrate Thanksgiving with ― relatives from Ireland, Chicago, San Diego, South Carolina ― and they're into it. For some people, it's too spicy, but my sister in San Diego and her kids enjoy it a lot.

Other Thanksgiving essentials in this series:
-Jonathan Kauffman's Brussels sprouts with prosciutto
-Jun Belen's stuffing balls
-John Birdsall's braised turkey legs with polenta

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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