Turkey with smoked chilli sauce

    1 hour 30 min

    Dried chipotle chillies have an aromatic flavour quite unlike regular dried chillies. They make a hot, subtly smoky sauce, which enhances this turkey casserole. Try serving with plain or wholemeal pasta spirals or other shapes.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 6 dried chipotle chillies
    • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
    • 50 g (1¾ oz) onions, chopped
    • 300 g (10½ oz) canned chopped tomatoes
    • 300 ml (10 fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock
    • 4 turkey steak fillets, about 125 g (4½ oz) each
    • Salt and black pepper
    • To garnish: a few sprigs of fresh thyme

    Prep:40min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hr30min 

    1. Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6) and put a kettle on to boil. Put the dried chillies into a small heatproof bowl, cover them with 125 ml (4 fl oz) of boiling water and leave them to soak for 30 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, put the cloves of garlic on a baking tray and roast them for 10-15 minutes until tender. Remove the garlic and set aside to cool, but do not turn off the oven. When the soft garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, peel and chop them.
    3. Line a sieve with clean muslin or kitchen paper and strain the soaking water from the chillies into a jug. Halve and deseed the chillies, then chop the flesh roughly and add it to the jug. Purée the chillies and water in a food processor or with a hand-held mixer.
    4. Place the chilli purée, garlic, onions, tomatoes and stock in a large, lidded flameproof casserole and mix well. Add the turkey steaks and submerge them in the liquid. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook the casserole in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
    5. Transfer the casserole to the hob. Remove the turkey steaks and keep them warm. Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until it has reduced to a thick coating consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce liberally over the turkey steaks and serve them garnished with sprigs of thyme.


    Dried chipotle chillies from Mexico are available from large supermarkets and some delicatessens. If you cannot find them, you can get a similar smoky flavour by roasting a large fresh red chilli over a gas flame or in a 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6) oven until the skin is charred. Place it in a bowl and cover until cool enough to handle, then peel and deseed and proceed from Step 3.

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