Thursday’s Dish: Turkey Mole Enchiladas

Hands up if you still have turkey in your freezer. Yep, me too. My husband made two birds, one roasted and one smoked, and the most of the smoked turkey is residing in the freezer, taking up way too much space. My plan for it is Turkey Mole Enchiladas. The smoked meat will go really well with the smokey richness of mole (say: mo-lay).

You can buy a pretty good quality mole sauce at the grocery store, but if you’re willing to invest a little time and buy a few special ingredients, you’ll end up with a really phenomenal dish. I like this recipe from The New Complete Book of Mexican Cooking by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz. I’ll put the whole recipe here (which begins with uncooked turkey and pork), but if you’re using it for cooked turkey, substitute 2 cups of chicken stock for the meat in the ingredients list.

Some people are scared to make mole because it seems so complex in flavor, but it’s actually pretty forgiving, so you can make some adjustments for what you have on hand. I’ve used pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) in place of the peanuts and skipped the anise. I also use a 1-pound can of stewed, chopped tomatoes instead of fresh, and have substituted ancho chilies for mulato. (FYI, the chilies used in this recipe are dried.)

To make enchiladas, shred your turkey meat while the mole is cooking. When the mole is ready, heat up 1 cup of chicken stock in a shallow pan, like a small skillet, on the stove. Have your casserole dish and corn tortillas ready to go. Dip tortillas into warmed stock for a few seconds, then move to casserole dish, fill with shredded turkey, and roll up. Repeat until dish is full. Pour mole over all, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes on 350. If desired, remove cover and sprinkle with a white Mexican cheese (like a queso fresco) and bake 5 more minutes before serving.

Turkey Mole Puebla-Style with Two Chilies

6 mulato chilies

6 pasilla chilies

1 8-lb. turkey, cut into serving pieces

1 lb. boneless pork, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 tablespoons lard or corn oil

1 cup flaked, blanched almonds

1/2 cup peanuts
Advertisement1 tortilla or slice of toast, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

4 tablespoons ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon anise

1 lb. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 oz. Mexican or unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces


Toast the chilies lightly in a dry frying pan. When cool enough to handle, pull of the stems and shake off the seeds. Tear chilies into pieces and put into a bowl with hot water to cover. Leave to soak for 30 minutes. Put the turkey and pork pieces into a large, heavy saucepan with water to cover. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Drain, reserving the stock. Dry the turkey and pork with kitchen towels. Heat the oil or lard in a large, heavy frying pan and sauté the turkey and pork, a few pieces at a time so as not to crowd the pan, until browned on both sides. Transfer them to a large, flameproof casserole. In a food processor, combine the almonds, peanuts, tortilla, half the sesame seeds, cloves, cinnamon, anise, tomatoes and prepared chilies and process to a coarse purée.

Heat the oil or lard remaining in the frying pan and cook the puree for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 2 cups of the reserved stock, the chocolate and salt to taste and simmer, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Pour over the turkey and pork, cook over very low heat covered for 1 hour, taking care not to let it burn. The sauce should be medium thick. If necessary, add a little more stock. Just before serving, sprinkle with the remaining sesame seeds. If you like, toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan for about a minute. Serve with tamales, tortillas, or plain white rice and guacamole. Serves 8-10.

I hope you enjoy it!


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