Turkey Mole is one of my husband’s favorite recipes. This is one that he has been playing with for years and each time, it is unique. I no longer remember where the original recipe came from. Like a lot of the things we cook, we improvise with what we have on hand. We have changed out the type of chilies used, we have added habanero BBQ sauce, used fresh vs. dried herbs… you get the idea. The best part of this is that it is incredibly flexible and reliably delicious.

Every year, we use this to spruce up the leftovers from Thanksgiving. Some years we have served it as you see it here. Other years, we combined the turkey with yams and rolled them in tortillas and smothered them in this mole, enchilada style. No matter how you serve it up, this sauce is one that you will return to year after year.

Tom’s Turkey Mole
4 dried pasilla chiles
1/2 c. pepitas
1/3 c. dark raisins or prunes
1/2 c. nuts (marcona almonds are awesome, but peanuts are good too)
1-2 slices of toasted white bread (he prefers to use the rustic kind)
1 bay leaf
2/3 c. tomato puree
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 3/4 c. chicken stock

Toast the chiles in a skillet over high heat until darkened on both sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add 1 c. hot water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Toast the pepitas in a skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Toast the raisins/prunes in the same skillet, stirring until slightly puffed, about 1 minute. Transfer to same bowl. Brown the bay leaf on both sides, about 1 minute. Toast the nuts in the same skillet until fragrant. Transfer to the bowl to cool.

Toast the bread until dry, but not dark. Tear into small pieces.

Place the chiles, soaking liquid, pepitas, raisins/prunes, bay leaf, nuts, bread, tomato puree, oregano, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and clove in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process for 3 minutes until smooth.

Set a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, coat with cooking spray. Add onions, garlic, and cumin, cover and cook stirring occasionally, until onions are slightly browned. Stir in the stock and chile puree. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours.

Serve over shredded leftover turkey.


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