Mole Estilo Oaxaca-Oaxacan-Style Mole

Mole Estilo Oaxaca-Oaxacan-Style Mole

While this recipe looks overwhelmingly difficult, it is not. It is truly a sauce to be made with loving care and to be served thusly to those you love. It is served at many Mexican holidays and special occasions. Makes 3 quarts and takes about 3 hours, but it’s worth it!

Serve with chicken (either cooked separately or browned in a little hot lard and added to sauce to finish braising) and sautéed sliced plantains. Mole is also good with turkey or beef. Can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for about 10 days or indefinitely in the freezer.

For the Chiles
8 oz ancho chiles, tops removed
8 oz guajillo chiles, tops removed

For the Spices
12 black peppercorns
6 cloves
1 piece (2 in) cinnamon stickor 2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp dried Mexican oregano

For the Nuts
1/2 to 1 cup lard or vegetable oil
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

For the Dried Fruit
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 cup pitted dried prunes, sliced
1 cup pitted dried apricots, sliced
1 to 1 1/2 cups dry sherry, heated

For the Plantain
1 large, very ripe plantain, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
2 tbsp butter or lard

For the Vegetables
1/2 head garlic (about 8 cloves), peeled and cut into ½-inch slices
1 large onion, unpeeled
1 lb firm ripe, red tomatoes (2 large or 3 to 4 medium)
1/4 lb fresh tomatillos

For Pureeing
4 to 5 cups Caldo de Pollo

To Complete the Dish
1 tablet (3 ounces) Mexican chocolate, chopped

To Complete the Dish 1 tablet (3 ounces) Mexican chocolate, chopped

Rinse chiles under cold running water, removing seeds, tops and veins. Cover
with boiling water and let soak until softened, no more than ten minutes,
while you prepare the spices. Drain and set aside.

Heat a small, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add peppercorns and
cloves; toast, shaking the pan and stirring constantly, until their aroma is
released, about one minute. Set aside in small bowl. Lightly toast the
cinnamon in same pan for about a minute; add to the pepper and cloves. (If
using ground cinnamon, do not toast; just add to other spices when you’ve
finished toasting them.) Toast oregano in same pan until fragrant and add to
spices. Set aside while you prepare nuts.

In a heavy, medium-sized skillet, heat 2 to 4 tbsp lard or oil over medium
heat until rippling. Add sesame seeds and cook, stirring, just until golden,
about 3 to 4 minutes; do not let them darken. Remove to a medium-sized
heatproof bowl. In the same pan, cook peanuts in same manner, stirring,
until lightly browned, adding a little more lard. Add to bowl with sesame
seeds. Cook slivered almonds, then pecans or walnuts in same way, using a
little more lard each time and adding toasted nuts to sesame seeds and
peanuts. Set aside.

Combine raisins, prunes and apricots in a bowl and pour hot sherry over
them. Set aside to soften.

Heat butter or lard in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat until hot and
bubbling, then add plantain slices and cook, stirring, until golden on both
sides. Set aside.

Heat griddle or cast-iron skillet over high heat until a drop of water
sizzles on contact. Place unpeeled garlic and onion on griddle and roast,
turning several times, until onion is blackened on all sides and garlic is
dark brown and somewhat softened. Let cool slightly. Peel onion and garlic;
coarsely chop the flesh of the onion. Set aside. On same griddle, roast
tomatoes, turning several times, until blackened on all sides. Place in deep
bowl to catch juices. Let cool slightly and peel. Drain canned tomatillos
and set aside.

Now you are ready to puree ingredients in sequence, working in batches
according to the capacity of your blender and adding chicken stock as
necessary to facilitate blending.

Place as many of drained chiles and toasted spices in the blender as it can
accommodate, with about 1 cup of chicken stock. Process until smoothly
pureed, adding more stock if necessary. Repeat with remaining chiles and
spices.

With a medium spoon, force puree through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl;
discard whatever won’t go through. Scrape puree into a large, heavy
saucepan; rinse out the blender to wash away any hard or fibrous bits.

Puree sesame seeds and nuts in several batches with just as much chicken
stock as necessary to help free the blades. Add to chile puree. Puree dried
fruit and sherry along with sautéed plantain in same manner, adding a little
stock if necessary. Add to saucepan with chiles and nuts. Puree onion,
garlic, tomatoes and tomatillos. Add to other purees in saucepan, along with
chocolate.

Bring sauce to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat
to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, for 30 minutes.