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Mole Poblano de Guajolote

Monday, 26 May 2008


colate Chile Sauce)

In an 1870s cookbook from Puebla there were recipes for 44 different moles but only one, Mole Poblano de Guajolote, or turkey in mole sauce, is called the National Dish of Mexico. This mole has descended from an Aztec chilemolli dish and although it’s called poblano, it doesn’t contain any poblano chiles. In this case poblano refers to the people of Puebla, birthplace of this dish. For an authentic taste, lard is used, but if that’s offensive to you, substitute vegetable oil.

Also, Mexican chocolate can be used, but if you do, be sure to eliminate the cinnamon from the recipe.


At a glance
Cooking Method
Heat Level
New Mexico Red
Main Course
4 to 6
  • 4 to 6 serving-size slices of raw turkey or chicken

  • 4 dried pasilla chiles (or substitute ancho), stem and seeds removed

  • 4 dried red New Mexico chiles (Sandia, Chimayo or other hot varieties preferred), stems and seeds removed

  • 1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • ½ cup toasted almonds, chopped

  • ½ corn tortilla, torn into pieces

  • 1/4 cup raisins

  • 1/4 teaspoon each: ground cloves, cinnamon, coriander

  • 3 tablespoons lard, or substitute vegetable oil

  • 2 to 3 cups turkey or chicken broth

  • 1 ounce bitter chocolate, or more to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Brown the turkey or chicken pieces in a heavy skillet for 10 minutes on each side, adding a little vegetable oil if necessary. Remove the pieces and place in a baking dish and roast in the oven for 50 minutes if using turkey and 30 minutes for chicken. Remove from the oven and keep the meat warm.

Preheat another heavy skillet over medium heat and toast the pasilla and New Mexico chiles until they slightly puff., turning them frequently to prevent them from burning. Cover the chiles with hot water and allow them to steep for 10 minutes to soften. Drain the chiles and discard the water.

Put the chiles, onion, garlic, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds, almonds, tortilla, raisins, cloves, cinnamon, and coriander in a blender or food processor. Puree this mixture, adding small amounts of the broth, until the mixture is smooth.

Melt the lard or heat the oil in a large saucepan, and saute the chile puree for 10 minutes over medium hot heat, stirring frequently. Add more broth to the sauce to keep it smooth, and to thin if it gets too thick. Reduce the heat, stir in the chocolate and cook over a very low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Add the turkey to the mole sauce and heat through. Arrange the turkey in the sauce on a serving platter, garnish with the remaining sesame seeds and serve.


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