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Mojo Roasted Turkey with Jacques Pépin’s Mushroom Armagnac Sauce

Thanksgiving is far gone, a distant past with Black Friday and Cyber Monday having superseded any memories created just 4 days ago.

One thing that’s still presumbly ubiquitous, and not overshadowed by mad rushes into the mall and squabbling customers for that elusive electronic item, at least in our house, is the turkey. Yes, the big bird is still around and being used to the bone.

Having a house full of 36 people, mostly family, you know there was a 20 pounder, justly done this year by my prima (my mom has mastered delegating cooking responsibilities–a feat hard earned for 5 years). Assuming we’d go through that one bird before the end of the night, one of my brother’s girlfriends also brought a turkey—a smoked one. My first smoked one. And, I loved it. In fact, I think it was the fam’s first time having it that way and surprisingly, it was a hit.

But, my cousin’s pavo, with 3 days worth of Cuban seasoning with a robust homemade mojo was the superstar and the one still lingering.

Under normal circumstances, all leftovers would have been thrown away by Saturday. We suffer from turkey overdose just like most American families do! I mean, how many turkey sandwiches, tacos, enchiladas, salads, soups and so on can you bear!?! I personally like the challenge of making the best of it all, but even after 4 days, I’m beyond done.

My mother on the other hand could eat it for 7 days. Papi’s usually done after Friday.


After committing to making Sunday dinner, a special one at that, I tried to convince him to use the rest of the turkey to make something simple. Mami had left the skeleton to just that and beautifully shredded all the meat. The remaining mojo filled the freezer size plastic bag and the pavo was left to anyone willing to have it again.

Convincing papi took a good 20 minutes. He was so done with it. Actually considers turkey to be extremely flavorless and plain ol’ boring. After I exaggerated how good my lunch earlier in the day had been (a bit of box stuffing and sweet fried plantain to accompany), he caved in and agreed to use it…

But, he was going to just warm up the leftovers and serve it with my stuffing or  even mashed potatoes. It’s either, or!

I recently subscribed Mami to Food & Wine, which papi is loooooving! In the last week, he’s made 3 recipes from it. It just so happens that October’s issue is all about French Classics. How fitting for my father whom is in love with all things Francaise… all.things.

He quickly flipped to a feature on Jacques Pépin and found a simple mushroom sauce with with one of his favorite cognacs… I remember distinctly swirling and sipping on a fine Argmanac with him and his best friend back in 2006 during a 3-week visit to France. That’s when my father really started getting into French wines, becoming more than a mere drinker. He’s since done his research and buys a bottle a few times a year.

Watching my father cook is like watching a seasoned, trained chef. He cooks with such intensity and precision, that most times I laugh (internally) at the striking contrast between he and mami…. it’s sometimes comical. Inclusive of yesterday. His reference to the magazine is the only action that would give away his lack of formal training. Everything else is classic. But, always admirable.

He puts so much passion and amor into his food that even a 4-day old pound of turkey tasted as fresh as Pépin’s Capon rendition. Capon, having a similar flavor to chicken could sound better tasting, but with a mojo sauce like the one our turkey soaked in for 7 days total, there’s a good argument to be made for its fabulous impact.

I’ve made mushroom sauces a million times over and am always pleased. Simple. Rather quick and pairs well with our staple starch. This wasn’t all that different in method and honestly the use of French herbs didn’t stand out as much to make huge difference; but it was robust, beautiful and perfect in consistency. Papi served it with that staple starch, rice, and roasted asparagus. For mami, papi and me, it turned out to be just as good to have at least two days in a row.

And so yes, you guessed it right. I’m writing and eating leftovers.



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Mojo Roasted Turkey w/Jacques Pépin’s Mushroom Armagnac Sauce (adapted by Papi from Food & Wine, Oct. 2011, page 204)


  • 1/2 pound leftover pulled turkey, cooked
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsps. herbes de Provence
  • 2 tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 lb. white mushrooms, sliced (shiitake works, too)
  • 1/4 cup white wine (Papi used Chardonnay)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1.5 tbsp. Armagnac
  • 1 3/4 tsps. corn starch dissolved in water
  • 1 tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large ovensafe pan, spread turkey with existing sauce from your own turkey leftovers. Cover with aluminum foil and heat for 20 minutes or until hot enough to serve. While turkey is heating, make mushroom sauce. In large deep skillet, melt butter. Add white mushrooms and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and cook with moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are lightly browned. Add white wine and cook until just about evaporated. Add stock and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add cream and Armagnac and simmer until sauce has reduced to 2.5 cups or about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in corn starch mixture until all is blended well. Cook sauce over low heat, whisking until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in tarragon and season with additional salt and pepper.
Remove turkey from over and let sit for a few minutes. Transfer turkey meat onto serving platter and pour mushroom sauce over. Garnish with additional chopped tarragon or sprigs.
Serves 6.

50 thoughts on “Mojo Roasted Turkey with Jacques Pépin’s Mushroom Armagnac Sauce

  1. I LOVE THANKSGIVING!!! Mainly for the turkey leftovers and all that I can do with them. You did not mention your dad making such a fabulous dish. You, dear friend, are getting the side eye!

  2. 🙁 Oh, my, oh my 🙁 you dissed my French herbs!!! Sacrilege, as they were freshly made from scratch!! … although come to think ot it, you’re kinda right; they didn’t really add too much to the flavor, did they!? At any rate, old (usually) bland turkey was put to good use, mostly thanks to my version of Jacques Pepin’s mushroom, Armagnac sauce. And yes, I DO take my cooking seriously 😉 mostly when it is about pleasing mom. It really came out good, didn’t it! Thanks for the promotion 😉

  3. I love how you are able to celebrate and enjoy your passion for food & cooking with your entire family. That’s a beautiful thing!

    Your photos – as always – stunning!

  4. Platanos: yes he does! always satisfies me and my mami when he cooks.

    Rosa: It is lovely woman. Getting ready to have a 2nd helping for dinner… only this time with with fabulous roasted vegetables and another cousin’s mac n cheese!

    AJ: Hey! I try to convince him not to cook anything at all but he insisted. Got excited about making the sauce. Well worth the leftovers.

    Eliana: Never, right! Sooo good!

    David: Noooooooo! I did not diss your herbs de Provence. I just reiterated what you said– the herbs didn’t add much, even though yes, they were all fresh. But, you know it was good seeing as though I had it for lunch today and getting ready to again. Ha.

    Autism Wonderland: Thanks, Lisa! It definitely makes cooking and eating much more enjoyable! And, as always, thanks for the nicety’s on the pics! 🙂

  5. Mushrooms are my weakness! I’m always trying to figure out a way to incorporate them in different dishes. This one looks amazing. I’m stumbling this too 🙂

  6. Mushrooms! I love the way mushrooms smell when simmering slowly on the stove top. Reading your post made my mouth water.

    It sounds like you and your papas share a passion for food. I think a meal shared with them must make it that much more special.

  7. I love turkey but only eat the turkey wing. I am very particular! And it makes me feel like a cave woman lol.

    Great recipe, per usual. You make me want to eat all hours of the day!

  8. Joan Nova: it sure was…. I really tried to pass on the rice and made it to one helping and then couldn’t resist the urge. the rich sauce w/out rice just isn’t right around here. we all enjoyed it fully!

    Ericka: Me too! Looove them. Have you ever worked with morels? Ooh wee! I need to make a really nice dish with those for my parent’s.

    Lisa: You, Ericka and I love them! So meaty and earthy! Yes!

    Suj: hahahaha, ur funny. I’m not the biggest fan either, but if made the way my cousin made it, I’ll take it year round… puts sandwich meat to shame and inedible!

  9. B! Why didn’t you save me some? I told you I was trying to make it over there. No besos y camerones either to make up for it. I didn’t know papi puts it in like that. I’ll have to get him to make me something special. Now, I can speak for that turkey on it’s own… Y put her foot in it!

  10. Bren you said the magic word Mushrooms…love this recipe. I think I will make a small turkey and make this for dinner this week. Will let you know how it turns out. Wish me luck.

  11. Well, Papi dressed up the leftovers magnificently with mushrooms (love!), cream and Armagnac – but I want to know about the Mojo sauce. Love how your whole family celebrates food & life, Bren 🙂

  12. BUENO ahi tenemos algo delicioso hongos y licor buena combinacion me imagino que debe saber muy rico gracias por compartir esas recetas tan ricas

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