Mole poblano comes from the Mexican state of Puebla (hence the name poblano), but as the most famous and most beloved dish in Mexico, it is served nearly everywhere. There are many stories about its creation, but most of them give credit to a seventeenth-century nun, Sor Andrea, who invented the dish in the kitchen of the convent of Santa Cruz.
4 dried ancho chiles
, stemmed and seeded
8 dried red New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 chipotle chiles in adobo
2 cups chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds, divided
1 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/2 corn tortilla, torn into pieces
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
4 to 6 cups turkey or chicken stock
3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
2 ounces bitter chocolate salt
freshly ground pepper
In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, toast the ancho and New Mexico chiles on both sides until they soften slightly and become aromatic. Transfer the chiles to a medium-sized, heat-safe bowl and pour in enough hot water to cover. Keep the chiles submerged with a small plate or saucer for 15 minutes. Drain the chiles and discard the water.
Put the rehydrated ancho and New Mexico chiles, chipotles, onion, garlic, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds, almonds, tortilla, raisins, cloves, cinnamon, and coriander in your blender. Purée the mixture and, with the motor running, add enough stock to form a smooth sauce. (You may have to do this in batches.)
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the lard or oil, and, when it is hot, add the chile purée and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more broth to the sauce to keep it smooth, and to thin if it gets too thick. Reduce heat, stir in the chocolate, and cook over very low heat for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds.
This mole is usually served with poached turkey, which is simmered in the sauce for the last 30 minutes of the cooking time.