Pavo Mole (Turkey Mole)

READY IN: 1hr 10mins
Recipe by COOKGIRl

Labor-intensive, messy, involved. Using earthy and ancient 'xocolatl' (chocolate), this mole sauce is equally good with chicken. Working in a well-ventilated kitchen is highly recommended. Mop the kitchen floor after preparing the mole as there is no point in cleaning the kitchen beforehand. Best to prepare this in an "assembly line" manner having your ingredients and utensils ready; reading through the recipe directions thoroughly before starting.

Top Review by Mirj2338

Normally the words labor-intensive (is that one word or two?) is not going to scare me off a recipe. What would normally scare me off this recipe in particular is that quarter cup of almonds. My husband is allergic to them and I am not about to risk widowhood for the ZWT challenge, grand prize or not! ;-) Serendipity stepped in and he's off to England for a family visit, so out came the almonds. I love making complicated meals, it's my form of therapy, and this is the perfect, therapeutic dish for me. Living in Israel I really couldn't get the peppers called for in the recipe, so I just used some wonderful dried Moroccan peppers. I also used Lindt 70% chocolate with chili, it added an extra bite to the meal. I served this with couscous for a majorly fusion meal and it was delicious! I've got the leftovers sitting in the freezer, divided in individual portions because you can be sure I'm not going to share! Made for ZWT.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. *NOTE: the chilies need to be toasted, seeds, deveined and rinsed.
  2. Toasting Dried Chilies: Heat an ungreased heavy skillet (I use cast iron) over medium heat. Place the chilies on the grill in single layer. Cook the chilies 1 to 3 minutes until the color changes slightly (do not burn) and the chilies become fragrant but not harsh smelling. As they toast, press down on them with a spatula, and turn the chilies occasionally. Set aside to cool. When the chilies are cool enough to handle but still pliable, cut each chile open lengthwise with scissors. Carefully remove the seeds and the veins (membrane).
  3. Place the prepared dried chilies in a medium bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let stand 1 hour.
  4. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry, clean skillet over medium heat. Toast about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove seeds from heat.
  5. Combine the whole clove, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds and anise seeds in the same skillet and toast on medium heat about 1 minute. The spices will start to change color and become fragrant. Do not burn. Remove from skillet.
  6. Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the almonds. Cook and stir about 2-3 minutes until brown. Do not burn. Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon to a paper towel and drain.
  7. Next add the raisins to the same skillet. Cook and stir 30 seconds or until puffed up. Remove with slotted spoon.
  8. Sprinkle the turkey pieces with salt. Cook the poultry in the same skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove to plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet.
  9. In a blender place the raisins, processing until finely ground. Coarsely chop the almonds and add to blender. Process until finely ground. Add the onion, garlic and process until finely ground.
  10. In an electric spice grinder process 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds in on/off pulses. Add the sesame seeds to the blender.
  11. Process the clove mixture in the electric spice grinder to a fine powder; add to blender.
  12. Add the chilies, 1/3 cup of the soaking liquid and the tomato paste to blender. Process until smooth. If too thick, add about 1 teaspoon of the soaking liquid at one time until the blender does not labor and mixture blends easily. **WARNING: Avoid inhaling the ingredients in the blender. Wear a mask, especially if you have a weak respiratory system. Discard the soaking liquid.
  13. Coarsely chop the chocolate with a knife or grate.
  14. Reheat the oil in skillet over medium heat again until hot. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the chile mixture. Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Add the chocolate; cook and stir 2 minutes or until the chocolate is melted. Gradually stir in the stock. Cook and stir the chile mixture for 5 minutes.
  15. Return turkey to the skillet. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until the turkey is tender and juices run clear. Turn the turkey once or twice during simmering. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds over the turkey pieces just before serving. Garnish, if desired with fresh cilantro.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a