Cinco de Mayo commemorates the historic Battle of Puebla when a small Mexican army defeated the well-financed French army. Please remember, that it does not mark Mexico’s independence. Although the holiday is mostly celebrated here in the United States, we think it is a good opportunity to take a deeper look at the city of Puebla’s most iconic dish -with our Mole Poblano recipe.
This authentic preparation marries mulato, ancho/pasilla, and guajillo chiles with warm spices, and sweet Mexican chocolate to create a velvety smooth sauce ideal for spooning over chicken or smothering steamed veggies.
THE MOLE SAUCE
Generations have labored over a hot fire cooking their mole down to a paste, which can be reconstituted for later use. This recipe yields 10 cups of sauce, which you can use in one sitting or freeze a portion for future use, no pasting required. Unlike making the thicker paste which takes hours, making straight mole sauce takes less time but it’s still important to make the cooking process manageable and enjoyable so have all of your ingredients pre-set and measured.
We’ve also broken the process down into a few easy parts: Chiles, Seeds, and Spices, Creating the Sauce.
Azuñia Tequila a few years ago launched a national campaign to find the most delicious, authentic Cinco de Mayo recipe and we were honored to be named the winner with this recipe below.
Mole Poblano Recipe
Yield: 10 cups ………(24 Servings)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 ounces dried chiles ancho pasillas about 6, stemmed and seeded
3 ounces dried chiles guajillo about 6, stemmed and seeded
3 ounces dried chiles mulatos about 6, stemmed and seeded
1/2 white onion, roughly chopped
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons raw almonds with skin
3 tablespoons raw shelled peanuts
3 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cup reserved chile seeds
2 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 stick true or ceylon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 pound roma tomatoes, charred or roasted
1/3 pound tomatillos about 2, husked, rinsed, charred/roasted
2 corn tortillas sliced into 8 pieces
1/2 bolillo roll or baguette, about 2 ounces, thickly sliced (if it is a couple of days old, better)
6 ounces Mexican-style chocolate
5 cups chicken broth plus 4 more to dilute later on
2 teaspoons kosher salt or more to taste
1/2 cup sesame seeds toasted, to sprinkle at the end
Phase 1 – Chiles
In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 1/2 cup vegetable oil. Add chiles in 2 or 3 batches and sauté, stirring often, being careful not to let them completely burn. Remove with tongs/slotted spoon and place in a large mixing bowl lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
In the same oil, add chopped onion and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until they soften and release their aroma. Stir in the almonds, peanuts, raisins, and pumpkin seeds, and let them cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Phase 2 – Seeds and Spices
Stir in the sesame seeds, reserved chile seeds, stemmed cloves, anise seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, ground allspice, thyme, and oregano. Stir frequently and let it all cook for 3 to 4 more minutes, stirring often. Add the orange zest, tortilla, and bread pieces along with the tomatoes and tomatillos. Let it all cook for a couple of minutes until the tomatoes are softened.
Phase 3 – Creating the Sauce
At this time, add the already sautéed and softened chiles and pour in the chicken broth. Stir and once it comes to a simmer, add the chocolate pieces and the salt. Mix well, and let it simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the mix rest for at least a half-hour to allow the chiles to soften completely.
In batches, puree the mixture in the blender or food processor until smooth. Push through a sieve into a large stockpot adding additional chicken broth to get to a thick sauce consistency.
Serve over cooked chicken or turkey and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.