Mole Coloradito

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr
  • Active: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

2 1/2 ounces ancho chiles (5 to 7), stemmed and seeded

2 1/2 ounces guajillo chiles (7 to 9), stemmed and seeded 

3 cascabel chiles, stemmed and seeded 

2 dried avocado leaves (see Cook's Note) 

1 fresh bay leaf (or dried) 

1-inch piece canela or 1-inch piece cassia cinnamon stick (see Cook's Note) 

1 whole clove 

2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano 

1 teaspoon cumin seeds 

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds  

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns 

1/2 cup raisins  

1/4 cup pitted prunes  

2 tablespoons sliced raw almonds 

2 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts 

2 tablespoons raw pecans 

2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds 

2 tablespoons untoasted sesame seeds 

3 tablespoons schmaltz or rendered lard 

1/2 very ripe (black) plantain, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds 

5 cloves garlic, chopped 

1/2 medium white onion, chopped 

Kosher salt 

One 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes  

2 quarts homemade turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth 

1 ounce bittersweet (72 percent cacao) chocolate, chopped 

Roasted turkey or roasted chicken, for serving 

Toasted sesame seeds, for serving 

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Toast the ancho, guajillo, cascabel, avocado leaves, bay leaf, canela, clove, oregano, cumin, coriander and peppercorns on a rimmed baking sheet until browned in spots (but not charred!) and very fragrant, nutty and spicy, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl.  
  3. Toast the raisins, prunes, almonds, peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds on the same baking sheet until the nuts are lightly browned and the fruit are puffed and lightly toasted but not burnt, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the toasted chiles. 
  4. Meanwhile, heat the schmaltz in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the plantains and cook until deep golden brown and caramelized on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the garlic, onions and 4 teaspoons salt to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the reserved chile mixture, the plantains, and the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the chiles are very tender and fragrant, about 30 minutes. Discard the avocado leaves, bay leaf and canela (if you can find them). Remove the pot from the heat and let cool slightly.  
  5. Working in batches, transfer the stewed chiles to a blender and puree until very smooth and thick. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining stewed chiles.  
  6. Wipe the pot clean, transfer the mole to the pot and bring to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to prevent from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Simmer until the mole is the consistency of a smooth, thick tomato sauce, 5 to 10 minutes, adding water or additional stock if the sauce is too thick. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Season with salt. Remove from the heat. Serve over roasted turkey or roasted chicken. Top with toasted sesame seeds.   

Cook’s Note

Avocado leaves are commonly used in southern Mexican cooking, especially in the state of Oaxaca. They can be used fresh or dried similar to the way we use bay leaves in the US. The leaves have a mild anise flavor and are often toasted to bring out a hazelnut flavor. They can be purchased in specialty food stores, Mexican grocery stores or online. Canela (Ceylon cinnamon) is the variety of cinnamon most commonly used in Mexico. The sticks are thinner and softer than the cassia cinnamon sticks used in the US and have a more delicate, sweet and floral flavor with less of the "heat" of the cassia.

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