This recipe appears in:Sauced: Mole Poblano
About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.
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- 12 dried ancho chiles
- 12 dried guajillo chiles
- 6 dried pasilla chiles
- 4 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole aniseed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 3 dried bay leaves, crumbled
- 1 (1 1/2-inch) stick cinnamon, broken into pieces
- 2 cups canola oil
- 7 1/4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2cup skin-on almonds
- 1/2 cup raw shelled peanuts
- 1/3 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 2 slices white bread
- 2 stale corn tortillas
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 10 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 10 teaspoons)
- 2 large tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
- 1 large tomato, quartered
- 1 cup ﬁnely chopped Mexican chocolate
- 4 tablespoons sugar, plus more to taste
- Kosher salt, to taste
Stem chiles and shake seeds into a small bowl. Tear chiles into large pieces; set aside. Place 4 tablespoons of reserved chile seeds and sesame seeds in a small cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Toast seeds, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer seeds to a spice grinder. Add aniseed, peppercorns, and cloves to now empty skillet. Toast until fragrant, about 1 minute; transfer to spice grinder with seeds. Add thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, and cinnamon to spice grinder. Grind all seeds and spices into a fine powder. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat to 350°F. Working in batches, fry chilies until slightly darkened, about 20 seconds per batch; transfer chilies to paper towel lined plate as each batch is finished. Remove skillet from heat and reserve. Transfer chilies to a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let steep for 30 minutes. Strain chiles, reserving soaking liquid.
Working in 3 batches, place 1/3 of the chilies, 1/3 cup soaking liquid, and 1/4 cup chicken stock into blender and purée until as smooth as possible. Set a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain chile mixture, using a rubber spatula to push through as much chile mixture as possible. Discard solids and set chile purée aside.
Return skillet with oil to 350°F over medium-high heat. One at a time, fry 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 batch to a paper towel lined plate as it is done. Transfer almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and raisins to bowl with spice mixture.
Fry bread until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side; transfer to paper towel lined plate. Fry tortillas until golden brown, about 1 minute per side; transfer to paper towel lined plate. Remove skillet from heat. Break bread and tortillas into small pieces and transfer to bowl with spice mixture.
Set fine mesh strainer over small bowl and strain oil from skillet. Place 2 tablespoons of strained oil to now empty skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add in onions and cook until browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer onions and garlic to bowl with spice mixture, leaving as much oil in pan as possible.
Return skillet to medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add in tomatillos and tomatoes. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer tomatillos and tomato to bowl with spice mixture. Add 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock to bowl with spice mixture.
Working in two batches, purée spice mixture in blender until as smooth as possible. Set a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain spice mixture, using a rubber spatula to push through as much spice mixture as possible. Discard solids and set spice mixture aside.
In a large dutch oven or pot, heat 3 tablespoons of reserved strained oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add in chile purée and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened to consistency of tomato paste, about 10 minutes. Stir in spice mixture, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes. Stir in 4 cups chicken stock and chocolate. Simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar and season mole with salt and additional sugar to taste. Remove from heat, use immediately or transfer to airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to a month.