Mole Poblano

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by Chef Jeff Smedstad

azfamily.com

Posted on November 28, 2011 at 6:16 PM

The most intimidating recipe in the Mexican kitchen at least it was for me, I struggled for a long time with the balance of flavors in what was years ago the most exotic thing I had ever tasted. And who in the world would put chocolate in a sauce that wasn’t for dessert? I have to wonder if the nuns in Puebla would have thought that this would become one of the most enduring recipe in the Mexican kitchen. Heck this is one of the greatest dishes in the world. I have adapted my version of this classic and streamlined it for the modern kitchen without sacrificing any of the depth or complexity that are hallmarks of this dish.

Here it is....

4 mulato chiles cleaned and stem removed
4 pasilla negro chiles cleaned and stem removed
3 guajillo chiles cleaned and stem removed
2 cascabel chiles cleaned and stem removed
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup green pumpkin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 avocado leaf
3/4 tsp ground canela [Mexican cinnamon]
3/4 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp Mexican oregano
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins
1 corn tortilla
1/2 tablet of Mexican chocolate
2 cups chopped onion
6 cloves garlic
2 tomatillos husk removed
1 vine ripe tomato
1 slice toasted white bread
8 cups chicken stock, homemade would make a lot of difference here
lard as needed

In a large dry stock pot toast the nuts and seeds over medium high heat until as dark as possible without burning them, remove and reserve, next do the same with the chiles, I recommend the fan be running as the smoke from the chiles will do some interesting things with your nose. Next toast the tortilla and char the tomato and tomatillos and remove, now add about a quarter cup of lard to the pan with your onions and garlic cook until they are deep brown now dump everything in the pot and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes. Let the mole cool  and puree it in your blender until you cannot feel any graininess you want a perfectly smooth sauce. If your blender isn't’t strong enough to do this you can always run it through a food mill. Now heat a large stockpot with a thin layer of lard and pour you mole back in after the initial sear you want to cook it over low heat for another 30 minutes or so to allow the flavor to mellow and develop. At this point you may want to add seared turkey breast or chicken cut into pieces and bake until cooked about 1 hour for the chicken at 325 or 1 1/2 hours for the turkey breast. Serve with white rice and garnish with chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.
 

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