Mole Rojo / Poblano
Red mole, also known as mole poblano, is similar to black mole, using many of the same spices and base ingredients and also contains chocolate, but less. Instead, this sweeter, spicier and more versatile version is amped up with several kinds of dried red chile like pasilla, guajillo and ancho as well as pulverized raisins and almonds or peanuts. When the sauce is done, browned chicken, pork or beef is typically added and stewed until tender, although I did seriously enjoy thick slices of queso oaxaca, a stretchy, soft mozzarella-like cheese, floating in mole rojo with fresh tortillas for breakfast.
- 2 large plum tomatoes
- 1/2 small onion
- 2 cloves garlic peeled
- 1/2 cup cacao beans
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
- 2 tablespoons pepitas pumpkin seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon reserved chile seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 whole cloves
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- sesame seeds toasted
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 cup oil divided
- 1 corn tortilla let air dry while assembling ingredients
- 1/4 bolillo roll sliced crosswise (4 slices)
- 1/4 ripe plantain sliced
- 1/4 cup shelled raw peanuts
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon
- blanched almonds
- 1/3 cup raisins
- Leaves from 1 sprig thyme
- 1 sprig Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablets Mexican chocolate chopped
- 1/2 to 1 cup sugar according to taste
Chicken / Turkey:
- 1 8-pound turkey or 2 whole chickens, cut into serving pieces
- 1 medium onion peeled and cut into quarters
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 whole pealed garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds toasted
- 3/4 cup Mexican crema
- The day before making the mole, remove the stems and seeds from the chiles; rinse the chiles and pat dry. Reserve three-fourths teaspoon of the seeds for the mole sauce. Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the chiles (in batches if necessary) and fry until glossy, about 4 minutes. Drain and place in a Dutch oven. Cover with 10 cups hot water, add the vinegar and let stand overnight, covered.
- The next day, drain the chiles and reserve the soaking liquid. Working in batches, place the drained chiles in a blender jar. Add enough soaking liquid to blend them smoothly. Repeat with the remaining chiles and set the mixture aside. This makes about 8 cups.
- Add the cacao beans to the skillet and roast until fragrant, about 2 minutes, then remove from pan, wrap in a towel and set aside to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, remove outer shell and skin. Next add the coriander seeds, anise seeds, pepitas, reserved chile seeds, peppercorns, cloves, sesame seeds and cinnamon stick to the skillet and roast just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to the bowl.
- Add one-half cup oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, fry the tortilla, then the bolillo slices until the tortilla is crisp and the bolillo slices are golden. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Fry the plantain slices until golden and softened. Remove and drain. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining one-half cup oil in a Dutch oven. Add the puréed chile mixture and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often.
- Stir constantly over medium heat until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency and becomes very dark. Strain the sauce and return to a clean pot. Place over low heat. Discard remaining chile soaking liquid. Makes 10 cups of sauce.
- Return the poultry to the pot and pour in the mole sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer and continue to cook until cooked through, an additional 15 to 20 minutes for chicken, 30 to 40 minutes for turkey, adding stock as needed to thin the sauce. Reserve remaining stock for another use.
- Place a serving of poultry on each plate and cover generously with mole sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Drizzle crema on the poultry and around the plate. Serve with Mexican or white rice. Freeze leftover mole in an airtight container.
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