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this on is complicated but well worth it...

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Posted to Thread #1144 at 9:21 pm on Mar 16, 2006

DARK AND SPICY MOLE WITH TURKEY<BR><BR>Mole Poblano de Guajolote<BR><BR>from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless and Deann Groen Bayless<BR><BR><BR>After comparing dozens of recipes for Pueblan mole, I've come up with this version, which re creates the rich tasting complexity of what you'll be served in Mexico's gastronomic capital. Even With all the huge mounds of prepared mole pastes available in the Puebla market, many of the fonda and restaurant cooks still insist on preparing their own from scratch. Which underscores Paco Ignacio Taibo's opinion: "Its recipe isn't a recipe, but recipes . . . . For mole there are as many recipes as there are imaginations." It's a remarkable dish. And it's worth the effort.<BR><BR>YIELD: 12 to 15 servings, with 3 quarts of sauce<BR><BR>The meat:<BR>a 10 to 12 pound turkey<BR><BR>The chiles:<BR>16 medium (about 8 ounces total) dried chiles mulatos<BR>5 medium (about 21/2 ounces total) dried chiles anchos<BR>6 (about 2 ounces total) dried chiles pasillas<BR>1 canned chile chipotle, seeded (optional)<BR><BR>The nuts, seeds, flavorings and thickeners:<BR>1/4 cup sesame seeds, plus a little extra for garnish<BR>1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds<BR>1/2 cup lard or vegetable oil, plus a little more if needed<BR>A heaping 1/3 cup (2 ounces) unskinned almonds<BR>1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) raisins<BR>1/2 medium onion, sliced<BR>2 cloves garlic, peeled<BR>1 corn tortilla, stale or dried out<BR>2 slices firm white bread, stale or dried out<BR>1 ripe, large tomato, roasted or boiled (page 352), cored and peeled OR 3/4 [of a]15 ounce can tomatoes, well drained<BR><BR>The spices:<BR>2/3 3.3 ounce tablet (about 2 ounces) Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped<BR>10 black peppercorns (or a scant 1/4 teaspoon ground)<BR>4 cloves (or about 1/8 teaspoon ground)<BR>1/2 teaspoon aniseed (or a generous 1/2 teaspoon ground)<BR>1 inch cinnamon stick (or about 1 teaspoon ground)<BR><BR>To finish the dish:<BR>1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil<BR>About 21/2 quarts poultry broth (page 61), preferably made from turkey<BR>Salt, about 2 teaspoons (depending on the saltiness of the broth)<BR>Sugar, about 1/4 cup<BR><BR>1. The turkey. If your butcher won't cut up your turkey, do it yourself: Cut the leg and thigh quarters off the body of the turkey then slice through the joint that connects the thigh to the leg. Cut the two wings free from the breast. Then set the turkey up on the neck end and, with a cleaver, cut down both sides turkey up the backbone and remove it. Split the breast in half. Reserve the back, neck and innards (except the liver) to make the broth. Cover the turkey pieces and refrigerate.<BR><BR>2. The setup. As with any recipe calling for twenty six different ingredients, half the battle is won by getting yourself properly set up. Organize the ingredients as follows: stem, seed and carefully devein the dried chiles, reserving 2 teaspoons of the seeds; tear the chiles into flat pieces. If using the chipotle, seed it and set aside. Make measured mounds of sesame seeds, coriander seeds, almonds, raisins and onion. Lay out the garlic, tortilla and bread. Place the tomato in a large bowl and break it up, then add the chopped chocolate to it. Pulverize the remaining spices, using a mortar or spice grinder, then add to the tomato and chocolate. Have the lard or oil and broth at ready access.<BR><BR>3. Toasting the seeds. In a medium size skillet set over medium heat, dry toast the Chile, sesame and coriander seeds, one kind at a time, stirring each until it has lightly browned. Add to the tomato mixture.<BR><BR>4. Frying and reconstituting the chiles. Turn on the exhaust fan to suck up the pungent Chile fumes. Measure 1/4 cup of the lard or oil into the skillet and, when hot, fry the chile pieces a few at a time for several seconds per side, until they develop a nut brown color. Remove them to a large bowl, draining as much fat as possible back into the skillet. Cover the chiles with boiling water, weight with a plate to keep them submerged, soak at least 1 hour, then drain and add the Chile chipotle.<BR><BR>5. Frying the almonds, raisins, onion and garlic. Heat the remaining cup of lard or oil in the skillet, add the almonds and stir frequently until browned through, about 4 minutes. Remove, draining well, and add to the tomato mixture. Fry the raisins for a minute or so, stirring constantly as they puff and brown. Scoop out, draining well, and add to the tomato mixture. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until well browned, 8 to 9 minutes. Press on them to rid them of fat, and remove to the mixing bowl with the tomato and other fried ingredients.<BR><BR>6. Frying the tortilla and bread. If needed, add a little more fat, then fry the tortilla until browned, break it up and add to the mixing bowl. Lay the bread in the pan, quickly flip it over to coat both sides with fat, then brown it on both sides. Tear into large pieces and add to the tomato mixture.<BR><BR>7. Pureeing the mixture. Stir the mixture thoroughly and scoop 1/4 of it into a blender jar, along with '/2 cup of the broth. Blend until very smooth, adding a little more liquid if the mixture won't move through the blades. Strain through a medium mesh sieve. Puree the 3 remaining batches, adding 1/2 cup broth to each one; strain.<BR><BR>8. Pureeing the chiles. Puree the drained chiles in 3 batches, adding about '/2 cup of broth (plus a little more if needed) to each one; strain through the same sieve into a separate bowl.<BR><BR>9. Frying the turkey. Heat 1/4 cup of the lard or oil in a large (at least 8 quart) kettle over medium high. Dry the turkey pieces with paper towels and brown them in the lard in several batches, 3 or 4 minutes per side. Remove to a roasting pan large enough to hold them comfortably. Set aside at room temperature until the sauce is ready.<BR><BR>10. Frying and simmering the sauce. Pour oft the excess fat from the kettle, leaving a light coating on the bottom. Return to the heat for a minute, then add the chile puree and stir constantly until darkened and thick, about 5 minutes. Add the other bowlful of puree and stir several minutes longer, until the mixture thickens once again. Mix in 5 cups of broth, partially cover, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer gently 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, season with salt and sugar and, if the sauce is thicker than heavy cream, thin it with a little broth.<BR><BR>11. Baking the turkey. Preheat the oven to 350. Pour the sauce over the turkey, cover the pan and bake until the bird is tender, about 2 hours. Remove the turkey from the pan and spoon the fat off the sauce (or, if serving later, refrigerate so the fat will congeal and be easy to remove).<BR><BR>12. Presentation. Let the turkey cool, skin it and cut the meat from the bones in large pieces, slicing against the grain; lay out the meat in 2 or 3 large baking dishes.<BR><BR> Shortly before serving, pour the sauce over the turkey, cover and heat in a 350 oven for 15 to 20 minutes.<BR><BR>Immediately before you carry the mole to your guests, spoon some sauce from around the edges over the turkey to give it a glistening coat, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.<BR><BR><BR><BR>COOK'S NOTES<BR><BR>Techniques<BR>Pureeing and Serving Nut-thickened Sauces: See page 195.<BR><BR>Fat and Mole: In many Mexican sauces, the dollop of fat is thought to be essential forgood flavor. But as Paula Wol has so elegantly pointed out in her Cooking of Southwest France, the fat's flavor is water soluble: Let it cook with the "stew" to add its savor, then skim the stuff off.<BR><BR>Balancing the Flavor of Mole: The flavors of mole begin to fuse during cooking; a day later, maybe two the fusion is complete and the flavor is truly mole. For that reason, I add an initial measurement of salt and sugar, then I fine tune those seasonings just before serving. Each underscores and balances a different face of this complex sauce.<BR><BR>Ingredients Chiles: To prepare an authentic mole poblano, you must have the revered triumvirate of mulatto ancho and pasilla; chipotle isn't critical, though it adds a dimension I like. Without the right chiles, it just won't work. If they're lacking, try the Red Mole with One Chile variation (page 201). <BR><BR>Mexican Chocolate: In my, opinion, the style of chocolate Isn't as critical as the variety of chiles, the Mexican kind can be replaced in this recipe with 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa.<BR><BR>Timing and Advance Preparation<BR><BR>From start to finish, mole poblano takes about 6 hours (if the broth is on hand), about 3 hours of which are relatively unattended simmering or baking. That approach, however, doesn't allow the mole to develop the best flavor (nor does it leave the cook in much of a wood for a party). It is easiest to spread the preparations over 4 days. Day 1 assemble the ingredients and complete the toasting/frying in Steps 3 through 6. BUT DO NOT SOAK THE CHILES. Day 2 cut up the turkey and make your broth. Day 3 soak the chiles and make the sauce; brown and bake the turkey. Cool the turkey and sauce separately then cover and refrigerate. Day 4 - skin and slice the turkey, heat with the sauce and serve<BR><BR>MENU SUGGESTIONS<BR><BR>Mexico's twentieth century, gastro historian Amando Farga describes the solemn vision of Sor Andrea with her wooden platter of chocolated sauce, forming a trinity with a bearer of tamales and one of pulque (the ages old fermented maguey juice). That was fine for Sor Andrea, but the pulque is really impossible for us and I think tamales don't work well for sopping up the sauce. (Even though from one book to the next they'll tell you to serve mole with simple unfilled tamales I've never seen it served that way myself Regardless of its accompaniments mole poblano means fiesta, celebration: It should always be served as a special attraction. It makes a very nice buffet dish, or, for a more formal, traditional meal, start with Tortilla Soup (page 96), accompany your mole with Pueblan Rice (page 264) and hot tortillas, then end with a stunning Almond Flan (page 283). I'd offer three drinks: a hearty dry red wine like Zinfandel, malty Dos Equis beer and Sparkling Limeade (page 311).<BR><BR>Evolution of a Mole Lover<BR>My recommendation, especially for meat and potato palates, is to start with Pork Enchiladas with Orange Red Mole (page 158), follow with Red Mole (page 201), then proceed to the famous sauce . . . preferably at one of the little fondas in Puebla's La Victoria market, where the stuff gurgles away in enormous, aromatic cazuelas<BR><BR>

The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.
Albert Einstein

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