Turkey in black mole sauce

Turkey in black mole sauce

Pavo en mole negro

My Abuelo's Mexican Feast


Quantity Ingredient
1 small turkey, jointed, (about 2.5 kg)
1kg pork neck bones
3-4 litres water
4 white onions, quartered
10 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
50g peanuts
50g almonds
50g sesame seeds
10 dried mulato chillies
8 dried ancho chillies
125ml hot water
75g lard
1 stale corn tortilla
10 cm piece stale baguette, torn into pieces
1 avocado leaf, (see note)
750g ripe tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon dried oregano
75g ‘ibarra‘ chocolate, (see note)
6 sweet peppercorns
6 cloves

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
toasted sesame seeds
Fresh corn tortillas
white rice, steamed


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the turkey pieces and the pork bones in a large saucepan or stockpot over a high heat. Add enough water to cover, along with the onions, garlic and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for about 40 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for the mole sauce, toast the peanuts, almonds and sesame seeds for about 10 minutes in the oven. Be careful not to let the nuts and seeds brown or your mole will taste burnt.
  3. Place the chillies in a deep frying pan over a high heat and dry-roast them until they are soft and starting to release their oils. Remove from the heat.
  4. Remove the stems from the chillies along with the seeds and membranes. Soak in the hot water and the remaining salt for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  5. In a large casserole dish, melt the lard. Add the chillies and fry one at a time and remove. Repeat the process with the tortilla, bread and avocado leaf. Cook each one and set aside.
  6. Once the turkey is cooked, place the chillies, tortilla, bread, roasted nuts and seeds and avocado leaf in a blender with about 60 ml of the turkey stock. Process until a smooth paste forms. Fry this mixture in the remaining hot lard, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. In the same blender, process the tomatoes until smooth and add to the paste along with the cinnamon, oregano and the chocolate cut into pieces, and about 750 ml–1 litre of the turkey stock.
  7. Simmer over a low heat for about 15 minutes. Add the turkey pieces and continue cooking until the turkey is very tender and the sauce has thickened. Serve topped with toasted sesame seeds, fresh hot corn tortillas and white rice.


  • Avocado leaves are available from some greengrocers. 2 fresh basil leaves may be substituted.

    Ibarra chocolate is available at specialist delicatessens. You can substitute with 70% bitter dark chocolate, but Ibarra will give a more traditional taste.
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