No, we did not dine on that furry little critter that lives underground. The picture above is not a burnt mole, but sautéed dried peppers.
I made mole from scratch, using a recipe for mole poblano from Pati’s Mexican Table as the basis. I was able to find all the ingredients in a local store which caters to the Middle Eastern, Asian, and Mexican populations, so there are far more exotic ingredients available than in the local chain grocery stores.
This is what I used:
Dried chilis: ancho, pasilla, mulatos, chipotles – about 20-25 in different amounts. I cut off their stems, and poured the seeds into a custard cup, to be added later on. In a large Dutch Oven, I sauteed the chilis in oil, removing them from the pan, and draining them on towels; I did this is in small batches.
Once the chilis were done I added more oil to the pan and sautéed up a chopped white onion and an handful of chopped garlic. Then I added about a quarter cup each of raw almonds, peanuts, raisins, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds. At one point, I added all the saved seeds from the dried chilis. Next came about a teaspoon each of whole cloves, anise seeds, and coriander seeds. A stick of whole cinnamon followed along with a pinch of allspice, thyme, and marjoram. These I sautéed and then added some tomatoes and tomatillos I had roasted over an open flame on a grill – two or three tomatoes and about eight large tomatillos. The blackened skins of these were removed. As a thickener, I tore up thin corn tortillas – about six. Once all this was put together, it continued to simmer a bit on the stove, with a bit of stirring.
Once I was happy with the melange – it smelled wonderful! – I added about six cups of homemade chicken broth, the sautéed chilis, and 7 ozs. of 85% dark chocolate, specifically Valrhona. From there, I let it simmer another 15-20 minutes, and let it cool. The final step was to run it through the blender until smooth.
This makes very thick paste. I ended up with more than a quart, which can keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, or frozen in small batches, to be used later on.
Making the mole was really easy – it only took a couple of hours as I did all the prep work as I moved along. If I had been more organized, I doubt it would have taken even that long.
Anyway, mole sauce can be used with chicken or turkey (or moles?). We had chicken. I browned the chicken on all sides, and then took about 2 c. of the mole paste, and another quart of chicken stock, and put them in a slow oven – 300 degrees – for about 3 hours. The result was heaven, and went well with saffron rice, cranberry sauce, salad, and tirimisu.
I hope your Thanksgiving feast was as tasty as ours!