Monday, October 23, 2006


Turkey Mole - Gringa Style

True-life confession time.

I'm not exactly an autumn enthusiast.

Sure, sure, people (my sister, for one) wax on and on about the glory of the falling leaves, the bright crisp air, the rosy apples and the glowing pumpkins...and to all that I

To me, fall is when it gets chilly. When it starts to rain (and for full disclosure, I am the worst of the worst stereotypical L.A. driver in the rain. I turn into a 90 year old, slow to a near halt and act as if I am going to wash away at any second. Sorry if you are the New Yorker behind me, but I just have to do my thing. Safety first!), when sandals don't work and when clothes are suddenly dark and much, much, much to demure for my sun-kissed shoulders taste.

What can I say...I am more of an endless summer girl.

But the one arena in which I do sorta dig fall is the change in foods. (And when it is freakishly hot, as it has been for the last week.) While I miss my fruits and berries, the corn and the tomatoes, bountiful herbs and melons galore (wait, thinking of all those things I think I'm talking myself out of my next statement...darn) I also love the heartier persimmons, large artichokes, sweet potatoes, parsnips and pumpkins that suddenly grace our tables.

And of course, the inevitable turkey.

I sorta wonder why turkey has to be such a seasonal food. But it really is. I mean, most people eat turkey sandwiches all year long, don't they? So why save the whole bird for just one meal a year (that is, if you are North American and celebrate Thanksgiving.) instead of indulging all the time?


Well, with this recipe, (which is really, most likely pathetic to anyone who has ever made a true mole, since, that is like, really, complex, ) you have an excellent and delicious excuse to eat turkey on another day.

In my defense, I did make mole once. It took three days and 36 ingredients. SO worth it, (because the real thing always is) but at the same time...SO not worth it, when you can order it in many fine restaurants...

But for those of us in a hurry, I came up with this and I think it is grand. Complex and delicious. Really a head turner. It is the most sensational brick color and the smell is like you walked into someones (your?) Abuela's kichen. Heady. Spicy. Rich. Perfect.

So if you don't have time to individually fry each ingredient, and to mash and grind and simmer and stew, try this. It's better than what comes in a jar and you may just be inspired to bust out the real thing someday.


10 assorted, whole, dried chiles (I used New Mexico, Pasilla and Mulato)
3 cloves garlic
1 large onion, diced
4 corn tortillas
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup golden and black raisins, rough chop
1 cup dried apricots and apples, diced
2 chipotle chiles with adobo sauce
2 cups diced tomatoes, in juice
1/4 cup tomato paste
5 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried epazote
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1 tablespoon ground corriander
1 bay leaf
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 large, bone in, turkey breast
Salt to taste

In a large, dry pan, over high heat, briefly heat the chiles to brown. Add the garlic and do the same. Remove and place in a bowl. Add just enough warm water to cover. After they have soaked for 10 miutes, remove from the water, (keep the water for later) destem and deseed and set aside.

Add the oil to the pan and saute the onion until transclucent. Carefully add the pumpkin seeds and tortillas. The pumpkin seeds will pop.

When they are browned add the raisins and other dried fruit.
Let cook, stiring, for a minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the turkey and chocolate), including the water the chiles were soaking in and stir to combine.

Let simmer for 30 minutes.

In small batches (remember, blenders explode when full of hot liquids) puree the sauce until smooth.

Return to the pot and add the chocolate. Stir to melt.

Next, add the turkey breast. It should be submerged. If the sauce is too thick (it should be thick, not soupy) add more chicken stock.

Cover and simmer the turkey breast for 1 hour.

Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Pull out the turkey breast, slice and serve with additional sauce.

Good right out of the pot, but better the next day.

Serves 6 - 8


Heritage Turkeys are the ancestors of the common Broad-breasted White breed of turkey that comprises 99.99% of the supermarket turkeys sold today. Most breeds of heritage turkey were developed in the United States and Europe over hundreds of years, and were identified in the American Poultry Association's turkey Standard of Perfection of 1874.

Mole is the generic name for several sauces used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on these sauces. In English, it often refers to a specific sauce which is known by the more specific name mole poblano. Mole poblano comes from the Mexican state of Puebla. It is prepared with dried chile peppers, nuts, spices, chocolate, salt and other ingredients.

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Too darn hot to cook a turkay in the summer! :D
I am one of those people who only cooks turkey once a year the rest of the year we used packeted turkey for sandwiches. The main reason is lack of things i could think of making as turkey takes so long to prepare and cook. I think ill give your recipe a try now i have something new to try and a cooked turkey in fall would make a nice change thanks a lot.
Wow, this deserves some attention. I too made the authentic mole sauce once. My therapist says I'm making great progress working through the trauma. This sounds really good.

I don't understand the turkey-only-for-Thanksgiving-thing either. There is something totally fun and decadent about whipping up a roast turkey on a weeknight in August. Okay, I'm totally lying about that last statement.
Will have to try this some lazy Sunday afternoon...I love long ingredient lists, like curries and whatnot.
turkey turkey turkey! yum, that looks plenty complex to me<--also gringa :)
I think i've seen "you waiting out the rain", i mean driving in the carpool lane on the 10. ba dum bum cha!
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