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Guatemalan Turkey Mole

Guatemalan Turkey Mole

For this authentic Mayan crowd-pleaser (recorded by our world-traveling friend and customer Copeland Marks), you'll need about 8 pounds of turkey parts; you may uses legs, breasts, wings, or a combination. In Guatemala, turkey is an honored bird, and an expensive one; this dish is prepared on special occasions such as fiestas, weddings, and important family gatherings. Serve with rice and Latin American salads and salsas. Serves 8

SKU 730-Recipes

  • 8 Serves


  • 8 pounds turkey parts
  • 1 ripe tomato, halved
  • 2 fat scallions, chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 dried chili pasilla
  • 1 dried chili guajillo
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (raw hulled green pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3 pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Bone the turkey parts, reserving the meat. Place the bones (you should have at least 2 pounds) in a stewpot. Add 8 cups of water, the tomato, the scallions, and 4 garlic cloves. Bring to a boil and skim off the foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
  2. Cut the reserved turkey meat into 2-inch cubes. Add to the turkey broth, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove meat and set aside. Strain the broth and reserve.
  3. Place the chili pasilla in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Put the chili guajillo, the pumpkin seeds, the sesame seeds, and the cinnamon into a heavy sauté pan over low heat, and toast, stirring, for 15 minutes.
  5. While the seed mixture is toasting, place the onion and remaining 6 garlic cloves on a roasting pan, and char lightly on all sides under broiler (about 8 minutes).
  6. In a food processor, place the chili pasilla with its cooking liquid, the toasted chili guajillo, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and cinnamon, the charred onion and garlic, the pepper flakes, the canned tomatoes, and 2 cups of the reserved turkey broth. Purée until smooth. Add the chocolate and sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  7. When the chocolate has melted, add the turkey cubes, and enough of the reserved broth to cover the turkey. Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. (The turkey should be tender and the sauce medium-thick. Add extra broth if necessary.) Season to taste and serve.