Alibi V.16 No.45 • Nov 8-14, 2007 

Holiday Grub

The New Mexican Thanksgiving

Feeling hot, hot, hot in November

We love our chile in the Zia state. Hell, the official state question is “Red or green?” There’s no reason why this infatuation with capsaicin shouldn’t carry over to Thanksgiving dinner.

Sadie’s has been an Albuquerque staple for as long as most of us can remember, and the restaurant doesn’t flinch when it comes to serving up the hot stuff. Brian Stafford, executive chef and nephew of Sadie herself, told the Alibi that while the family serves a traditional Thanksgiving meal at home, they simply can’t enjoy their turkey without a healthy dose of red chile. “Sometimes I just bring it home from the restaurant, or I make a slightly different version at home. I’ll also put green chile in the gravy,” he reveals.

Replacing gravy with a red chile sauce transforms a boring bird into a fiery fowl that is definitely something to crow about. Applying this attitude to the rest of the menu will canonize you into a holiday legend.

Brian’s “Red Chile We Put on Our Turkey and Mashed Potatoes Like Most People Use Gravy”

Brian has graciously shared his personal red chile recipe. Sop up the spicy sauce with tender slices of turkey and you’ll really have something to give thanks for.
Makes 1 large pot of red chile


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds pork, cut into small cubes
4 cloves garlic, minced
garlic salt to taste
2 cups hot red chile powder

1) Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pot.

2) Add the pork slowly to the pot, browning the pork on all sides. Do not add the pork all at once, as this will crowd the pot and inhibit proper heating.

3) Add garlic and garlic salt while the meat browns. 

4) Once the pork has browned, add enough water to just cover the pork by 1/2 an inch. At this point you can add more garlic salt, if you wish. Stir the ingredients, picking up all the stuff on the bottom of the pot, and bring pot to a simmer.

5) Stir in the chile powder, a little at a time, until all the chile is mixed in.

6) Simmer for about five minutes. Add more garlic salt to taste if needed.

7) Serve with turkey and stuffing.


Roasted turkey with masa “cornbread” stuffing

Brian’s “Red Chile We Put on Our Turkey and Mashed Potatoes Like Most People Use Gravy”

Creamy rice with nopalitos

Pumpkin tamales


Individual cinnamon-orange flans