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Dark and Spicy Mole with Turkey
Mole Poblano de Guajolote

10- to 12-pound turkey

16 medium (about 8 ounces total) dried chiles mulatos
5 medium (about 2 1/2 ounces total) dried chiles anchos
6 (about 2 ounces total) dried chiles pasillas
1 canned chile chipotle, seeded (optional)

1/4 cup sesame seeds, plus a little for garnish
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 cup lard or vegetable oil, plus a little more if needed
A heaping 1/3 cup (2 ounces) unskinned almonds
1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) raisins
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 corn tortilla, stale or dried out
2 slices firm white bread, stale or dried out
1 large tomato, roasted, cored, and peeled or 12 oz canned tomatoes, drained

2/3 3.3-ounce tablet (about 2 ounces) Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped
10 black peppercorns (or a scant 1/4 teaspoon ground)
4 cloves (or aobut 1/8 teaspoon ground)
1/2 teaspoon aniseed (or a generous 1/2 teaspoon ground)
1 inch cinnamon stick (or about 1 teaspoon ground)

1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil
2 1/2 quarts poultry broth, preferably made from turkey
salt, about 2 teaspoons (depending on the saltiness of the broth)
sugar, about 1/4 cup

If your butcher won't cut up your turkey, do it yourself: Cut the
leg-and-thigh quarters off the body of the turkey, then slice
through the joint that connects the thigh to the leg. Cut the two
wings free from the breast. Then set the turkey up on the neck
end and, with a cleaver, cut down both sides of the backbone and
remove it. Split the breast in half. Reserve the back, neck and
innards (except the liver) to make the broth. Cover the turkey
pieces and refrigerate.

Stem, seed and carefully devein he dried chiles, reserving 2
teaspoons of the seeds; tear the chiles into flat pieces. If using
the chipotle, seed it and set aside. Make measured mounds of sesame
seeds, coriander seeds, almonds, raisins and onions. Lay out the
garlic, tortilla and bread. Place the tomato in a large bowl and
break it up, then add the chopped chocolate to it. Pulverize the
remaining spices, using a mortar or spice grinder, then add to the
tomato and chocolate. Have the lard or oil at ready access.

In a medium-size skillet set over medium heat, dry-toast the chile,
sesame and coriander seeds, one kind at a time, stirring each until
it has lightly browned. Add to the tomato mixture.

Turn on the exhaust fan to suck up the pungent chile fumes. Measure
1/4 cup of the lard or oil into the skillet and, when hot, fry the
chile pieces a few at a time for several seconds per side, until
they develop a nut-brown color. Remove them to a large bowl,
draining as much fat as possible back into the skillet. Cover the
chiles with boiling water, weight with a plate to keep them submerged,
soak at least 1 hour, then drain and add the chile chipotle.

Heat the remaining 1/4 cup of lard or oil in the skillet, add the
almonds and stir frequently until browned through, about 4 minutes.
Remove, draining well, and add to the tomato mixture. Fry the
raisins for a minute or so, stirring constantly as the puff and
brown. Scoop out, draining well, and add to the tomato mixture.
Cook the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until well browned,
8 to 9 minutes. Press on them to rid them of fat, and remove to
the mixing bowl with the tomato and other fried ingredients.

If needed, add a little more fat, then fry the tortilla until
browned, break it up and add to the mixing bowl. Lay the bread in
the pan, quickly flip it over to coat both sides with fat, then
brown it on both sides. Tear into large pieces and add to the
tomato mixture.

Stir the mixture thoroughly and scoop 1/4 of it into a blender jar,
along with 1/2 cup of the broth. Blend until very smooth, adding
a little more liquid if the mixture won't move through the blades.
Strain through a medium-mesh sieve. Puree the 3 remaining batches,
adding 1/2 cup broth to each one; strain.

Puree the drained chiles in 3 batches, adding about 1/2 cup of the
broth (plus a little more if needed) to each one; strain through
the same sieve into a separate bowl.

Heat 1/4 cup of the lard or oil in a large (at least 8-quart) kettle
over medium-high. Dry the turkey pieces with paper towels and
brown them in the lard in several batches, 3 or 4 minutes per side.
Remove to a roasting pan large enough to hold them comfortably.
Set aside at room temperature until the sauce is ready.

Pour off the excess fat from the kettle, leaving a light coating
on the bottom. Return to the heat for a minute, then add the chile
puree and stir constantly until darkened and thick, about 5 minutes.
Add the other bowlful of puree and stir several minutes longer,
until the mixture thickens once again. Mix in 5 cups of broth,
partially cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently
45 minutes, stirring occaisionally. Finally, season with salt and
sugar and, if the sauce is thicker than heavy cream, thin it with
a little broth.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pour the sauce over the turkey,
cover the pan and bake until the bird is tender, about 2 hours.
Remove the turkey from the pan and spoon the fat off the sauce (or,
if serving later, refrigerate so the fat will congeal and be easy
to remove).

Let the turkey cool, skin it and cut the meat from the bones in
large pieces, slicing against the grain; lay out the meat in 2 or
3 large baking dishes.

Shortly before serving, pour the sauce over the turkey, cover and
heat in a 350 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Immediately before serving, spoon some sauce from around the edges
over the turkey, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.


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