You can find the original recipe to this delicious mole on Rick Bayless’ site or, as I did, on this cookbook. The full version of the recipe includes all the peppers that need to be roasted, rehydrated and blended. I took a shortcut here. Instead of using the various peppers (chiles), I went for a prepared, store-bought mole under the assumption that it would include said peppers. I know. There are a few Mexican grandmothers turning in their graves as I type this. My only hope is that they don’t read English and maybe won’t understand the extent of my trespass. Move on.
I suppose my shortcut doesn’t allow me to judge the true tastes of the original recipe, but I can tell you that shortcut or no, this recipe rocks! This stuff is so delicious, I considered bathing in it. OK, I know you don’t need that graphic ingrained to your brain. My bad. Anyway, this would be awesome on chicken, pork, seafood, coffee, cookies, eh er…
Turkey in Red Mole Sauce (adapted from Mexico – One Plate at a Time)
makes about 10-12 cups of sauce
5 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 cp sesame seeds
1/2 cp rich pork lard or vegetable oil (I used bacon fat)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cp unskinned almonds
1/2 cp raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon, (use ground Mexican canela if available)
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 tsp anise
1/8 tsp cloves
1 cp pre-packaged mole sauce
1 slice firm white bread, darkly toasted and broken into several pieces
1 oz (about 1/3 of a 3.3-ounce tablet) Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped
4 – 5 tbsp sugar
4 turkey thighs with skin & bones (approx 4lbs)
And now, for the steps:
Roast the tomatillos under a very hot broiler until splotchy black and thoroughly soft, about 5 minutes per side. Scrape into a large bowl.
In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring nearly constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes. Scrape half of them in with the tomatillos. Reserve the remainder for sprinkling on the turkey.
In a heavy-bottom pot or dutch over or Mexican cazuela, if you have one of those, heat the bacon fat over medium heat and fry the garlic and almonds, stirring regularly, until browned (the garlic should be soft), about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove to the tomatillo bowl, draining as much fat as possible back into the pot.
Add the raisins to the hot pot. Stir for 20 or 30 seconds, until they’ve puffed and browned slightly. Scoop them out, draining as much fat as possible back into the pot, and add to the tomatillos. Set the pan aside off the heat.
To the tomatillo mixture, add the cinnamon, black pepper, anise, cloves, bread, mole sauce and chocolate. Add 2 cups water and stir to combine.
In two batches, blend the tomatillo mixture as smoothly as possible (you may need an extra 1/2 cup water to keep everything moving through the blades), then strain it into a bowl and set aside.
If you’re using uncooked turkey, this is when you will season the turkey with salt & pepper. Raise the temperature on the pan to medium-high and brown the thighs on all sides, this will take about 10 minutes. If you make the mole sauce ahead, you can move on to braising the thighs in the sauce. If you are still working on the sauce, go ahead and put the turkey in the fridge while the sauce gets ready.
Pour out any excess fat, you only need enough to leave a film on the bottom of the pan. Add the blended tomatillo mixture and cook, stirring every few minutes until considerably darker and thicker, 15 to 20 minutes. You’re looking for the sauce to become the consistency of tomato paste. A word to the wise, use a spatter screen, this mole business is very spitty.
Add 6 cups of water to the pot and briskly simmer the mixture over medium to medium-low heat for 45 minutes for all the flavors to come together and mellow. If the mole has thickened beyond the consistency of a cream soup, stir in a little water. Taste and season with salt and sugar.
Heat the oven to 325°. Lay the turkey in the mole, cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven. Cook until the thighs internal temperature registers 150, this will take about 40-55 minutes. Remove the turkey from the sauce and allow it to rest for a few minutes. Serve with generous amounts of mole sauce.