Mole Poblano de Guajolate (Turkey in Chocolate-Chile Sauce)

This Mexican chile pepper is called “Chilaca” when used fresh. In California the Poblano chile is often called Pasilla. Since most of these are bought and distributed from California this mislabeling often carries over into the supermarkets nationwide
causing a lot of confusion. This chile is very mild and is usually consumed in the dry form to make the famous Mexican ‘mole’ sauces.

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4-6 serving-size slices of raw turkey or chicken
4 dried pasilla chiles (or substitute ancho), stem and seeds removed
4 dried red New Mexico chiles (Sandia, Chimayo or other hot varieties preferred), stems and seeds removed
1 or 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped
1/2 corn tortilla, torn into pieces
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 tsp. of each: ground cloves, cinnamon, coriander
3 Tbsp. lard, or substitute vegetable oil
2-3 cups turkey or chicken broth
1 oz. bitter chocolate, or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 325F.

Brown the turkey or chicken pieces in a heavy skillet for 10 minutes on each side, adding a little vegetable oil if necessary. Remove the pieces and place them in a baking dish and roast in the oven for 50 minutes if using turkey and 30 minutes for chicken. Remove the meat from the oven and keep warm.

Preheat another heavy skillet over medium heat and toast the pasilla and New Mexico chiles until they slightly puff, turning them frequently to prevent them from burning. Cover the chiles with hot water and allow them to steep for 10 minutes to soften. Drain the chiles and discard the water.

Put the chiles, onion, garlic, tomatoes, 1 Tbsp. of the sesame seeds, almonds, tortilla, raisins, cloves, cinnamon and coriander in a blender or food processor. Puree this mixture, adding small amounts of the broth, until the mixture is smooth.

Melt the lard or heat the oil in a large saucepan, and saute the chile puree for 10 minutes over medium hot heat, stirring frequently. Add more broth to the sauce to keep it smooth, and to thin if it gets too thick. Reduce the heat and stir in the chocolate and cook over a very low heat for 30-45 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Add the turkey to the mole sauce and heat through. Arrange the turkey in the sauce on a serving platter and garnish with the remaining sesame seeds and serve.

Yields 4-6 servings.

Recipe by by Nancy Gerlach, Food Editor.