Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Fabulous Turkey in Mole Sauce

This amazing, excellent dish was the centrepiece of a recent Mexican menu created for friends.  Mole is not a difficult recipe but it is time consuming to make.  Create over a few days or dedicate one whole day to complete this worthwhile culinary project.  Thank you for providing the recipe.

Let me save you a few steps:  I found a superb Mexican market in Ottawa- Bienvenidos Latin Market on St. Laurent Blvd.  They stock all the specialty ingredients you will need for your mole dish AND they will happily answer your food questions.


13 cups water
1 4-pound whole boneless turkey breast with skin, halved lengthwise *I bought a fresh turkey and carved out the breast, saving/freezing the other parts for turkey soup.
1 large white onion, peeled, quartered
1 head of garlic, outer skin removed, cut crosswise in half
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1 cup lard or grapeseed oil
8 dried mulato chiles, stemmed, seeds and membranes removed
6 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeds and membranes removed
5 dried ancho chile, stemmed, seeds and membranes removed

Nuts and seeds
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup pecans
1 tablespoon unsalted roasted peanuts
1/4 cup shelled pepitas
3 tablespoons sesame seeds

1/4 cup canola oil
1 large ripe dark-skinned plantain, peeled, thickly sliced
1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, coarsely chopped *use canned if fresh is unavailable
1 pound plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup raisins
1 large white onion, peeled, cut into 8 wedges
12 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
5 whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
5 whole allspice berries
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon aniseed
1 1-inch piece canela* or cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 3x2x1-inch bread slice from firm French roll
3 5- to 6-inch-diameter corn tortillas, coarsely chopped
6 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup chopped piloncillo** or (packed) dark brown sugar
2 cups (about) low-salt chicken broth (if necessary)

For turkey:
Combine all ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the turkey is just cooked through, skimming foam, about 45 minutes. Transfer turkey to bowl; cover and chill. Strain and reserve broth in pot.

For chiles:
Heat 1/2 cup lard (or grapeseed oil) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry all chiles until beginning to blister and change color, about 15 seconds per side (do not burn). Using tongs and shaking off excess lard, transfer chiles to another large pot. Add 4 cups reserved turkey broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until chiles are very soft, about 35 minutes.

Strain liquid into 4-cup measuring cup; add enough reserved turkey broth to measure 4 cups. Chop chiles. Working in batches, puree chiles and 4 cups chile broth in blender until smooth.

Heat remaining 1/2 cup lard/ grapeseed oil in same pot over medium heat until almost smoking. Press chile puree through large mesh strainer into pot (mixture will sputter and bubble vigorously). Stir until puree thickens enough to form path on bottom of pot when wooden spoon is drawn across, about 15 minutes. Remove chile puree from heat.

For nuts and seeds:
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add almonds and stir until color deepens, about 1 minute. Add pecans and peanuts; stir 1 minute. Add pepitas; stir 30 seconds. Transfer to blender. Add sesame seeds to skillet; stir 1 minute. Transfer 2 tablespoons sesame seeds to small bowl and reserve for garnish. Place remaining 1 tablespoon sesame seeds in blender with nuts. Add 1/2 cup reserved turkey broth and blend until thick puree forms. Add nut-and-seed puree to pot with chile puree. Cook over very low heat, stirring often, while preparing fruits.

For fruits:
Heat 1/4 cup oil in same skillet over high heat. Add plantain and sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels. Add tomatillos and tomatoes to skillet; sauté until slightly softened, mashing with fork. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until thickened, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Add raisins and plantain; simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree tomatillo mixture in blender with 2 cups reserved turkey broth. Strain mixture through sieve into chile-nut puree, pressing on solids to extract as much mixture as possible; discard solids in sieve. Continue cooking puree over very low heat while preparing flavorings, stirring often.

For flavorings:
Cook onion and garlic cloves in dry heavy medium skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown and soften, turning often, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Coarsely chop onion; peel garlic.
Place in blender.

Stir cloves in same skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Transfer cloves to spice mill or coffee grinder; add peppercorns and next 7 ingredients. Grind finely. Add to blender. Add 1 cup reserved turkey broth; blend until smooth. Stir spice mixture into chile-nut puree. Simmer mole over very low heat 30 minutes to blend flavors while preparing thickeners, stirring often (mole will bubble thickly).

For thickeners:
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add bread slice; fry until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to blender. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and tortillas to skillet; sauté 2 minutes. Transfer to blender with bread. Add 2 cups reserved turkey broth; blend until smooth. Add to mole; simmer 10 minutes.

Add chocolate and piloncillo to mole; simmer over low heat 20 minutes, stirring often, scraping bottom of pot and adding more turkey broth (or chicken broth if necessary) by 1/2 cupfuls if mole is too thick (up to 2 cups more broth may be needed). Season with salt. Continue simmering over low heat until streaks of oil form on mole surface, about 10 minutes longer. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm over low heat, stirring and adding more broth if desired, before continuing.)

Cut turkey into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Add to hot mole; simmer until turkey is heated through, about 10 minutes. Arrange turkey slices on platter. Spoon mole over; sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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