Now that I have gotten over any fear of working with brown bits, I am jumping in deeper. Today yielded a very spirited stock infused with both cranberry and pomegranate in response to a needy chicken carcass. Continuing on a red roll, this gravy incorporates the fruity stock with wine, cocoa, and hot pepper. For anyone looking for a far less traditional Thanksgiving, or more realistically, an interesting variation for leftovers, this recipe might be well worth a try. But if you do not like chocolate mole in the first place, then you would no doubt not be pleased with this take. I made a small experimental batch today, which my son has given rave reviews. We may be a slightly odd family though when it comes to preferences, I just want to note for the record. —Sagegreen
brown bits and pan drippings from a roast such as chicken or turkey
red wine, pinot noir or malbec
fresh grated ginger
fresh grated nutmeg
fresh grated cinnamon
Hungarian hot paprika
lemon zest to taste
cranberry hot pepper jelly
dried premium cranberries
or so of spirited stock (to include apple, ginger, and cranberries and, oh yes, a splash of wine)
In a braising pan heat the brown bits and pan drippings (that have been as "defatted" as possible already). Next stir in all the spices.
Pour in the wine and stir with the hot spices. Reduce a bit. When heated, spoon in the jelly. Plop in the cranberries. Bring to a simmer.
Slowly pour in the spirited homemade stock, stirring, vigorously simmering. Season with salt and pepper. Strain if needed or desired and return to the pan.
Sift in about a tablespoon of cocoa and stir until incorporated. While still simmering to finish you can elect to sift in some flour to thicken. I have two photos to show the difference with (on blue plate) and without flour (on white plate).
Test for seasoning and acidity. Adjust with salt, pepper, lemon zest or whatever you think might be needed for balance. When you are pleased, serve over chicken or turkey with fresh herbal sprigs and more cranberries.