The rich spicy mole sauces of Mexico are perfect for strong-tasting meats such as the dark meat from a left-over turkey, and a great way to extend a festive dinner.
We made a dark mole from the state of Puebla called Mole Poblano Sencillo in one of our Mexican cooking classes. Sencillo means ‘simple’, but this mole was complex and dense with spices, almost too dense for me.
For my ‘Left-over Turkey Mole’ the only changes I made to the Mole Poblano recipe was to halve the number of chiles, and to add a cup of cut-up dried prunes at the same time as I added the 3 cups of turkey. I also substituted Chicken-in-a-Mug for the broth as we had already used up all the gravy.
- I used 7 mulato, 1 chipotle and 5 guajillo chiles – basically all the dried chiles that I happened to have in the house at the time.
- I fried the chiles in hot oil, being careful not to burn them, using a small pot so that I didn’t have to use as much oil.
- the chiles were removed from the heat, allowed to cool and then crumbled; the oil, now infused with red from the chiles, was added into a big pot.
- the oil was brought up to medium heat and the next set of ingredients, in this case: 1 cup almonds, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds and two chopped onions were ‘sweated’. Like the chiles, precise amounts of these ingredients don’t matter, and sesame seeds or peanuts can also be added.
- once cooked everything was blended along with 12 grilled garlic cloves, 2 cups of canned tomatoes, 1 tsp of toasted fennel seeds, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, two crushed black peppercorns, salt to taste and enough broth to create a paste. The resulting chile paste was strained into a pot containing 2 tbsp of hot oil and fried.
- The paste was then set to a simmer and the Chicken-in-a-Mug broth gradually incorporated.
- at this point the Mexican chocolate was added. It is sometimes sold in ‘pucks’, but the ones I picked up in Oaxaca were more like ‘cigars’, semi-bitter with almonds. I added one, tasted the sauce and then added another.
- The final additions were a cup of cut-up dried prunes and 3 cups of left-over dark turkey meat. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top and serve with Arroz al la mexicana/Mexican-style Rice.
Here’s another recipe for left-over turkey: Turkey and Chorizo Chowder.