Turkey mole

Bitter chocolate, spiked with warming spices work well together in this traditionally hearty Mexican casserole
By Gino D'Acampo
Turkey mole
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus soaking
  • Effort: easy


For the sauce

  • 1 guajillo chilli
  • 1 ancho chilli
  • 300 ml hot water
  • 115 g sesame seeds
  • 50 g whole almonds
  • 50 g shelled peanuts, unsalted
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 25 g lard, or 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50 g canned tomatoes
  • 1 ripe plantain
  • 50 g raisins
  • 75 g ready to eat prunes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 0.25 tsp ground cloves
  • 0.25 crushed allspice berries
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50 g chocolate
  • 200 ml chicken stock

For the turkey

  • 4 x 200 g turkey breasts, <P> </P> boneless
  • 25 g lard, or 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • oregano, to garnish
  • warm flour tortillas, or steamed rice, to serve


1. Put the whole chillies into a heatproof bowl and pour over 300ml hot water. Leave on one side to soak for 20 minutes. Reserve the soaking water and roughly chop the softened chillies.

2. Toast the sesame seeds in a hot pan until golden - stirring all the time, taking care not to let them catch on the bottom of the pan. Set aside 3 tablespoons of toasted seeds for garnish and tip the rest into a mixing bowl. Toast the almonds and peanuts in the same way and add them to the same bowl. Leave on one side.

3. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat the lard or vegetable oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped chillies and tomatoes, and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Peel the plantain, slice into thin diagonal slices, and add to the onion mixture in the pan. Tip in the raisins, prunes, dried oregano, spices and chocolate. Stir in the soaking water from the chillies.

5. Add the sesame seeds, almonds and peanuts and continue cooking for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

6. Blend the sauce in a food processor or liquidiser until smooth. The sauce should be thickish - but if it's too thick, add a splash of chicken stock.

7. Heat the lard or oil in a casserole pan. Add the turkey breasts and brown over a moderate heat - this should take 3-4 minutes. Pour the sauce over the breasts and cover tightly with a lid.

8. Simmer for 20-25 minutes - until the turkey is tender and the sauce thickened. Add more chicken stock to let the consistency down if it looks a tad thick.

9. Sprinkle with the reserved sesame seeds and scatter over fresh oregano leaves. Serve with steamed rice and warm tortillas.

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