Turkey Mole

Recipe Date: October 14, 2023
Difficulty: Medium
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Make this Mole ahead of time to spruce up your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. Take care not to burn any of the ingredients when toasting or your sauce will have a bitter edge. When in doubt, less toast is better than too much. Find the freshest dried chilies by confirming with your grocer that they are from the most recent harvest. Good chilies will have some flexibility without being hard and brittle. Most communities have small Mexican markets that have high turnover.  Make 2 quarts


  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 ancho chilis, destemmed and deseeded, seeds reserved
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup raw cashews, crushed lightly
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 4-inch long cinnamon stick, crumbled
  • 5 New Mexican chilis, destemmed and deseeded
  • 2 Guajillo chilis, destemmed and deseeded
  • 3 chipotle chilis, destemmed and deseeded
  • ½ cup cold-pressed canola or safflower oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 lb (about 6) roma tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters
  • ½ cup raisins
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablets (2.7 oz.) Mexican chocolate
  • 1 small corn tortilla, torn into small pieces
  • Leftover Turkey (or other roasted protein or veggies)


1. Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot add the peppercorns, ancho chili seeds, sesame and cashews and toast until they become fragrant and lightly golden. Remove from pan and reserve in a medium bowl.

2. Add the almonds and cinnamon to the pan and toast until the almonds are golden and the cinnamon is fragrant.  Add to bowl with seeds. 

3. Add the chilies to the pan a few at a time and toast until aromatic and crisp on edges but not burned. Add them to the bowl with the other toasted ingredients.

4. Heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the oil and then the onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are golden. Sprinkle sugar over and cook until sugar is dissolved.

5. Add the tomatoes and raisins and continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the tomatoes are broken down and bubbling thickly, season to taste with salt. Add the reserved bowl of seeds, spices and chilies.

6. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Add the chocolate and the tortilla and stir. Return to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Cool and blend in a blender until smooth. Strain and place back on the heat. Cook for another 20 minutes or so until thickened. Serve over pulled pork shoulder or shredded turkey or chicken.