holy mole (pronounced molay)

A national dish of Mexico, this sauce was created by the Sister Superior at a convent in the city of Pueblo around 1680. It was prepared in honour of a visit by the archbishop. It is a sauce rich in history and in flavour and to give this dish the respect that it deserves you need to set aside an ample amount of time for preparation. I assure you results will be well worth the time spent. Here is my version of this ancient sauce.

Mole Sauce
3 dried anaheim peppers
3 dried pasilla peppers
2 dried jalapeno peppers
5 cups hot chicken broth
1 cup blanched whole almonds
2 6-inch torillas
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp anise seeds
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/4 cup raisins
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
5 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt

The first step is to dry the peppers. Set oven to broil. Place peppers on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in oven. Watch carefully and turn peppers as skins become charred. When both sides are blackened, remove from the oven and place in a paper bag to cool. When they have cooled, discard skins, stems and seeds. Place peppers in a bowl and cover with hot chicken broth. Let stand for 30 minutes to soften. Strain through a sieve and reserve the liquid.


 In a dry skillet individually toast the almonds, tortillas, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and anise seeds over medium heat for 1 – 3 minutes. Stir or turn frequently.



In a large bowl combine drained peppers, almonds, torn tortilla, seeds, undrained tomatoes, onion, raisins, chocolate, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, cloves and salt. Process the mixture, a little at a time, to make a course puree.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the puree and cook for about 5 minutes until darkened and thick. Slowly stir in 2 1/2 cups of the reserved soaking liquid. Cook and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

This sauce can be used for chicken or pork but I chose to make a traditional Turkey Mole. 

Cut 8 – 10 lb turkey into pieces and brown on both sides in a frying pan with a little oil over medium high heat. Place turkey in a roasting pan and cover with 2 cups of the mole sauce. Roast turkey in a 350 oven for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until thermometer registers 170 in turkey breasts. Serve with additional warmed mole sauce.


One thought on “holy mole (pronounced molay)

  1. I served this dish at a Dinner Club where the theme was Cinco de Mayo. Everyone brought something and we also had Lime Soup, Mexican Rice, Chili, Cornbread Muffins, Salsa, Guacamole, Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce and Mexican Cheesecake with Cajeta for dessert. Oh, yeah and Margaritas! Yummy.

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