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Turkey with Poblano Mole Sauce

This is my favorite traditional mole recipe adapted from Mexico the Beautiful Cookbook by Susana Palazuelos. Making mole from dried chiles takes time, but is well worth the effort. Mole's flavor improves with age. It keeps for about a week in the refrigerator, and about a month in the freezer. Leave the cinnamon sticks in while you store it. To adjust the heat: Mild mole - no chipotle chiles Medium mole - 1-2 chipotle chiles Hot mole - 3-4 chipotle chiles

Submitted by: Laurie from Ithaca, NY
Yield: 8-10 people


  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 7 Mulatto Chiles, or New Mexican Chiles
  • 1-4 Chipotle Chiles, to taste
  • 1 1/2 Pounds Roasted Tomatoes
  • OR 2 32oz cans Diced Stewed Tomatoes
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup Peanuts
  • 8 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Stick Cassia Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Red Raisins or currants
  • 6 ounces Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt, or to taste
  • Turkey:
  • Sauce:
  • 1 Young Turkey, 8-10 pounds
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Onion
  • to taste Salt and Pepper

Preparation Instructions:

Heat a dry iron skillet to medium. Place the chiles on the hot skillet and press the down with a spatula. Turn when they begin to change color. Be careful not to burn them. It will take about 1-2 minutes per batch for the chiles to release their fragrance.

With a small knife slice open the chiles and remove the top, seeds and membranes. If you are working with hot chiles like chipotles or you have sensitive skin, wear gloves. Do not touch your eyes. Place the cleaned chiles in a bowl of warm water and soak for 20-30 minutes. Dried chiles tend to float. To keep them submerged, place a second bowl on top of them.

Preheat your oven to a broil. While the chiles are soaking cut the tomatoes into thick slices. Brush with oil and place under the broiler for a few minutes.

In the oil saute the onion and garlic. Transfer to a blender. The saute the almonds and peanuts for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to the blender. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a large pot.

When the chiles are done soaking transfer to the blender. Add the tomatoes. Puree until smooth. If you don't like the sharp texture of the dried chile skins, put the tomato-chile puree through a food mill, or work the puree through a sieve with a rubber spatula. Transfer the mixture to your large pot and combine with the nut-raisin puree. Add the cinnamon and cloves.

Bring the combined purees to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. It can take about 30-40 minutes to reach a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the chocolate and sugar, stirring constantly. When the mixture returns to a boil add the stock. Cover and cook over low heat for at least 20 minutes, stirring periodically. If you want to use the sauce that day, continue to cook over low heat until the flavors are well blended. Cook gently and do not allow the sauce to burn. If you prefer to make the sauce in advance, cover and refrigerate for a day or two to allow the flavors to mature. When you are ready to use it, reheat the sauce over medium low heat.

Roast the turkey with the garlic and onion. Cut into serving pieces and immerse it in the warm mole, cooking for about 15 minutes.

Toast the sesame seeds in a small, dry skillet over medium heat until they are golden. Serve the turkey mole hot in a large bowl or soup tureen, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Helpful Hints

Mole sauce is also wonderful on enchiladas or in burritos. It makes an excellent dipping sauce for tortilla chips or plain salted crackers. If you have a gas stove that cooks too hot on low, use a heat diffuser to prevent the mole from burning.


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