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Mole Poblano

Serves 8-10

  • 8 lbs. turkey
  • 6 ancho chiles
  • 4 pasilla chiles
  • 4 mulato chiles
  • 4 T. lard
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. anise
  • 4 T. sesame seeds
  • 2 or 3 sprigs cilantro
  • 1 lb. tomatoes
  • 1 c. almonds
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate salt and pepper to taste

Cut turkey into serving pieces, and put in water to cover. Simmer. Remove veins from chiles, discard. Probably in several small batches, blend all chiles, vegetables, and seasonings. Heat lard to sizzle and add the purée, blend quick to lower cooking fire to avoid splattering. Stir constantly with wooden spoon five minutes. Add two c. broth from simmering turkey pieces. Add chocolate and salt and pepper. Arrange turkey pieces in cazuela and cover with mole. Cover the casserole and simmer 30 minutes to blend flavors. This recipe was first featured in Puebla in the 16th Century when Spanish Viceroys paid visits to New Spain. Legend has it the nuns cloistered in the Santo Domingo monastery learned they would have clerical visitors and determined to put on a novel feast. Religious orders had been duplicating Aztec moles and the good sisters always wanted to outdo each other. “We need just some one thing more elegant for Your Highness to savor,” could have been the excuse as the Poblanos prolonged their cooking with the strategy of delay. Mexican chocolate is quite firm and takes forever to shave. Just the thing! They inclined towards this richness creating a marvelous new mole. It is biting, racy, and decisive. 

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