Turkey with Chocolate Sauce (Mole Poblano)

This could almost be described as the Mexican national dish and legend-has it that it was invented by the nuns of a convent in honour of a visiting bishop–from scraps they had in a rather bare kitchen plus a turkey in the yard. The sauce traditionally is supposed to have thirty ingredients in it, although it is now usually simplified to more manageable proportions, as here.


8 - 10 servings
4 1/2 kg (10 lb) Turkey, cut into serving pieces
125 g (4 oz) 1 cup Seasoned flour (flour with salt and pepper to taste)
75 g (3 oz) 6 Tbs Lard or butter
1 tsp Salt
2 Bouquets garnis

for the sauce

1 Large onion, finely chopped
1 Garlic clove, crushed
75 g (3 oz) 1/2 CUP Sultanas or seedless raisins
125 g (4 oz) 1 cup Ground almonds
3 Tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped
4 Tbs Sesame seeds, toasted
2 Tortillas, crumbled
1/2 tsp Aniseed
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground cloves
1/2 tsp Ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Small dried hot red chillis, crumbled
1 Jalapefio chilli, chopped
600 ml (1 pint) 2 1/2 cups Turkey stock (made from the giblets, etc)
2 crumbled 50 g (2 oz) Dark cooking (semi- sweet) chocolate, squares


1. Coat the turkey pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.

2. Melt half the lard or butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the turkey pieces and fry until they are deeply and evenly browned. Add enough water just to cover the pieces, then add the salt and bouquets garnis. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the turkey for 1 1/2 hours, or until the pieces are cooked through and tender. Remove from the heat, drain the turkey pieces and set them aside.

3. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, melt the remaining fat in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until they are soft. Stir in the sultanas or raisins, almonds, tomatoes, half the sesame seeds, the tortillas, spices, seasoning and chillis and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add half the stock and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.

4. Add the remaining stock and blend the mixture, a little at a time, in a blender until it forms a smooth puree. Return the puree to the saucepan. Add the chocolate and simmer gently, stirring constantly, until it melts and the sauce has thickened and is smooth.

5. Arrange the turkey pieces in a large serving dish and pour over a little of the sauce. Garnish with the remaining sesame seeds. Pour the remaining sauce into a warmed sauceboat and serve at once, with the turkey pieces.

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