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Puebla-Style Fiesta Turkey in Mole Sauce

Puebla-Style Fiesta Turkey in Mole Sauce

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  • 1 4-pound whole boneless turkey breast with skin, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large white onion, peeled, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, outer skin removed, cut cross-wise in half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt


  • 8 dried mulato chiles, stemmed, seeds and membranes removed
  • 6 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeds and membranes removed
  • 5 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeds amd membranes removed


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds


  • 1 large, ripe dark-skinned plaintain, peeled, thickly sliced
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped


  • 1 large white onion, peeled, cut into 8 wedges
  • 12 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 1-inch piece canela or cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano


  • 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)

Recipe Preparation


  • Combine all ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until turkey is just cooked through, skimming foam, about 35 minutes. Transfer turkey to bowl; cover and chill. Strain and reserve broth in pot.


  • Heat 1/2 cup lard in 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 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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).


  • 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. 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. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. 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.

Recipe by Marilyn Tausend, Ricardo Mu oz Zurita,Reviews Section

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