Friday, December 14, 2007

Turkey Mole Poblano

Note: I recently posted this in my log over at JP's, so if you already got it there, skedaddle!

This is the mole that I made for the last few Christmas dinners. Luckily, I wrote it down as I cooked. Hopefully, they weren’t all just saying it was good…

The beauty of a mole sauce is that there really isn’t any true mole recipe. You can use anything that sounds good in place of anything else. Legend has it that the original version was created by nuns at a convent in Puebla who were desperate to create a rich and fancy sauce for a visiting dignitary. They used all sorts of “rare” ingredients, including the bit of chocolate, which was very expensive at the time.

The only restriction (if you can even call it one) is that a mole poblano (the dark, red to black mole) needs to have poblano chili in it. Dried poblanos are often called ancho chilis.

I’m not going to tell you how to roast a chicken or turkey. Just do it and serve this sauce with it.


2 Dried Ancho Chilis
1 Dried California Chilis
1 Dried Pasilla Chilis
½ diced green tip banana
2 corn tortillas
20 cashews
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 clove garlic
4 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons butter
1-2 wedges of Mexican chocolate (or 2 tablespoons Nestle Semi-Sweet Morsels or 1 oz semi-sweet chocolate, or even some candy. Just wing it.)
Salt to taste

roasted turkey
extra sesame seeds for garnishing
freshly ground nutmeg


Toast the dried chilis in a 350 degree oven or on a hot griddle until the puff up. If you use a griddle, make sure to turn them regularly so they don't burn. Let them cool. They will harden up as they cool, too. Break or cut the stems off of the chilis. Shake or scrape out the seeds.

Place chilis in a small covered saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes so that chilis are very soft.

In a hot, dry skillet, roast pine nuts until they are lightly browned, stirring frequently. Repeat with sesame seeds.

Place chilis in blender jar, discarding the soaking liquid. Add other ingredients (banana through garlic clove) to jar. Blend, adding just enough chicken broth to keep the mixture from binding.

You may need to stir and scrape a bit to fully blend the ingredients. You can add additional broth, if necessary to insure easy blending. When mixture is fully blended (it will still be coarse), return the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a simmer.

Add butter and chocolate and stir until melted.

Add additional broth (and water, if necessary) until desired consistency is achieved (The mole should be able to just coat the back of a wooden spoon).

Salt to taste.

Generously, drizzle chicken or turkey with sauce and serve over white rice.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro.

Serve with remaining sauce on the side.

Serving suggestions

This is my own traditional Christmas Dinner main dish. On Christmas, I serve it with a variety of Mexican and American Christmas foods, but for a more normal meal, you might serve this with some chicken, grilled squash, green salad, and rice.

* I'm recommending white rice with this dish, especially for company. Goes against the brown rice grain, but it's really not the same with brown rice. Brown just doesn't absorb the sauce like white does. It might be good, but I'm going to splurge and eat white rice with my mole. We're not going for health here. This is Christmas Dinner!

I make extras of this sauce and use it to drench my chicken and grilled veggies throughout the week.

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