Turkey in Mole Poblano

Turkey in Mole Poblano

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  • 12 dried ancho chiles
  • 12 dried guajillo chiles
  • 6 dried pasilla chiles
  • 5 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole aniseed
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 ⁄2 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 ⁄2 tsp. dried marjoram or oregano
  • 3 dried bay leaves crumbled
  • 1 1 1⁄2" stick cinnamon, broken into pieces
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 7 1 ⁄4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 ⁄2 cup skin-on almonds
  • 1 ⁄2 cup raw shelled peanuts
  • 1 ⁄3 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1 ⁄3 cup raisins
  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 stale corn tortillas
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatillos husked, rinsed, and quartered
  • 1 large tomato quartered
  • 1 4–5-lb. whole skin-on boneless turkey breast, split into halves
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 cup finely chopped Mexican chocolate
  • 4 tbsp. sugar plus more to taste
  • Tortillas and cilantro sprigs for serving


  • Stem chiles shake seeds into a bowl.
  • Tear chiles into pieces set aside.
  • Measure 4 tbsp chile seeds (discard the rest) and 4 tbsp sesame seeds into a small skillet set over medium heat.
  • Toast seeds, swirling pan, for 2 minutes.
  • Transfer to a spice grinder.
  • Toast aniseed, peppercorns, and cloves transfer to grinder along with thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, and cinnamon.
  • Grind into a powder and transfer to a large bowl; set spice mixture aside.
  • Heat oil in an 8" skillet over medium heat.
  • Working in small batches, add chiles and cook, turning, until toasted, about 20 seconds.
  • Using a slotted spoon and reserving oil in skillet, transfer chiles to paper towels to drain.
  • Transfer fried chiles to a large bowl add boiling water to cover.
  • Let chiles steep for 30 minutes.
  • Strain chiles, reserving soaking liquid.
  • Working in 3 batches, put 1⁄3 of the chiles, 1⁄4 cup soaking liquid, and 1⁄4 cup stock into a blender purée.
  • Set a sieve over a bowl and strain chile mixture, pushing it through sieve with a rubber spatula discard solids.
  • Reserve blender set chile purée aside.
  • Return skillet with oil to medium heat.
  • Working with one ingredient at a time, fry the almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and raisins until toasted, about 1 minute for almonds, 45 seconds for peanuts, 20 seconds for pumpkin seeds, and 15 seconds for raisins.
  • Transfer each fried batch to paper towels to drain.
  • Return skillet to medium heat and fry the bread, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes transfer to paper towels.
  • Repeat with tortillas.
  • Break bread and tortillas into small pieces and transfer to bowl, along with the almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins, and ground spice mixture set aside.
  • Set a fine strainer over an 8-qt. Dutch oven.
  • Strain all but 2 tbsp oil from skillet into Dutch oven set aside.
  • Return skillet to medium-high heat.
  • Add garlic and onions cook, stirring, until brown, 10–12 minutes.
  • Using slotted spoon, transfer onion mixture to bowl with spice mixture.
  • Return skillet to medium-high heat, add tomatillos and tomatoes, cook, stirring, until soft, 10–12 minutes.
  • Transfer to bowl with spice mixture along with 2 1⁄2 cups stock.
  • Purée spice mixture in reserved blender.
  • Press through the strainer into a bowl, set purée aside.
  • Heat reserved Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Season turkey breasts with salt.
  • Brown each breast, turning once, for 12 minutes.
  • Transfer turkey to a plate.
  • Pour off all but 3 tbsp of oil in Dutch oven set over medium-high heat.
  • Add chile purée, cook, stirring, until thick, 10–12 minutes.
  • Add spice purée, reduce heat, and cook, stirring, for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in 4 cups stock and chocolate, simmer, partially covered and stirring often, for 1 hour.
  • Season mole sauce with salt and sugar, remove from heat.
  • Heat oven to 325°.
  • Nestle turkey in mole sauce.
  • Bake, covered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into turkey reads 150°, about 1 hour.
  • Transfer pot to a rack, let rest 20 minutes.
  • Slice turkey, serve with sauce, and garnish with remaining sesame seeds and cilantro, serve with tortillas.
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