Mole for Thanksgiving

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!


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