Smoky Peanut 
Mole with Grilled Turkey Breast

This simple mole is a wonderful alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey. Serve this dish at a smaller gathering or with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. 

Photography By D. Lucas Landis | October 26, 2017

Ingredients

  • 2 turkey breasts, bone in with skin
  • Salt for the turkey plus 1½ teaspoons for the mole
  • 2 medium dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded (about 1 ounce total)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, divided
  • ½ small white onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 8 ounces ripe tomatoes (about 1 medium-large round or 3 to 4 plum)
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, plus a few tablespoons chopped for garnish
  • 2 slices firm white bread (or ½ 
 dry Mexican bolillo roll), torn into pieces
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded
  • teaspoon allspice, preferably freshly ground
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, preferably freshly ground Mexican canela
  • About 3½ cups chicken broth, divided
  • ½ cup fruity red wine
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sugar, about 1 tablespoon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sprigs of flat leaf parsley, for garnish

About this recipe

adapted with permission from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen by Rick Bayless (Scribner)

Instructions

Serves 4–6

Three to four hours before grilling the meat, sprinkle the turkey breast with salt and put it into the refrigerator uncovered on a plate. 

Tear the ancho chiles into flat pieces, then toast a few at a time on an ungreased griddle or skillet over medium heat. Press flat with a metal spatula for a few seconds until they crackle and change color slightly, then flip and press again. (If they give off more than the slightest wisp of smoke, they are burning and will add a bitter element to the sauce.) In a small bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even soaking. Drain and discard the water.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy, medium-size (4-quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven) over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic cloves, and fry, stirring regularly, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Scrape into a blender jar. Set the pan aside.

Roast the tomatoes on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blackened, about 5 minutes, then flip and roast the other side; cool, then peel, collecting all the juices with the tomatoes. Discard the tomato skin. Add the tomatoes to the blender, along with the peanuts, bread, chipotles, drained anchos, allspice and cinnamon. Add 1½ cups of the broth and blend until smooth, stirring and scraping down the sides of the blender jar, and adding a little more liquid if needed to keep everything moving through the blades. Press the mixture through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in the pot over medium-high. When hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle sharply, add it all at once. Stir as the nutty-smelling, ruddy-red mixture thickens and darkens for about 5 minutes, then stir in the remaining 2 cups broth, the wine, vinegar and bay leaves. Partially cover and let gently simmer over medium-low heat for roughly 45 minutes, stirring regularly for the flavors to harmonize. If necessary, thin the sauce with a little more broth to keep it the consistency of a cream soup. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1½ teaspoons, and the sugar. Cover and keep warm.

Around 45–60 minutes before serving, light a gas grill or prepare a charcoal fire and let the coals burn until they are covered with gray ash and medium-hot. Position the grill grate about 8 inches above the coals and lightly oil.

While the grill heats, pull the turkey breast out of the refrigerator and brush with olive oil. Place on the grill skin-side down and cook for 18 to 20 minutes and then flip the turkey breast and allow to grill for another 15 minutes until the juices run clear. Remove to a plate and keep warm in a low oven while you set up your plates. Ladle a generous  cup of the earthy-colored sauce onto each of 6 warm dinner plates. Slice the turkey breast and lay it on the sauce. Garnish with chopped peanuts and sprigs of parsley.

The mole may be made up to 5 days ahead; cover and refrigerate. If oil separates from sauce when reheated, either skim it off or blend the sauce in a loosely covered blender. 

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Ingredients

  • 2 turkey breasts, bone in with skin
  • Salt for the turkey plus 1½ teaspoons for the mole
  • 2 medium dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded (about 1 ounce total)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, divided
  • ½ small white onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 8 ounces ripe tomatoes (about 1 medium-large round or 3 to 4 plum)
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts, plus a few tablespoons chopped for garnish
  • 2 slices firm white bread (or ½ 
 dry Mexican bolillo roll), torn into pieces
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, seeded
  • teaspoon allspice, preferably freshly ground
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, preferably freshly ground Mexican canela
  • About 3½ cups chicken broth, divided
  • ½ cup fruity red wine
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sugar, about 1 tablespoon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sprigs of flat leaf parsley, for garnish
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