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Mole, My Way



Makes 1 gallon

  • ½ pound guajillo chiles (about 32), stemmed, seeded, and deveined

  • ½ pound pasilla chiles (about 24), stemmed, seeded and deveined

  • ½ pound ancho chiles (about 16), stemmed seeded, and deveined

  • 2 medium yellow onions, quartered

  • 4 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered

  • 10 fresh tomatillos (about 1 pound), husked and rinsed

  • 8 large whole garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1 cup pitted prunes

  • 1 cup dried apricots

  • ½ cup raisins

  • 1 bottle red wine

  • 2 tablespoons dried whole oregano (preferably Mexican)

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds

  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns

  • 5 whole cloves

  • 2 large canela (Mexican cinnamon) or 4 cinnamon sticks

  • 4 quarts chicken stock (low-sodium store bough is fine)

  • 2 sweet (black) plantains (about ¾ pound)

  • Vegetable oil

  • 1 ounce Mexican chocolate

  • 5 corn tortillas, charred over an open flame until blackened in spots

  • Salt



1. Preheat the oven to 500°F.

2. Spread the guajillo, pasilla, and ancho chiles on a baking sheet and put it in the oven. Cook for 2 minutes, or until they’re fragrant. Take the pan out of the oven (leave the oven on), transfer the chiles to a large bowl or pot, and pour in enough water to cover them. Let the chiles soak until they’re soft, about 45 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, put the onions, tomatoes, tomatillos, and garlic on a clean baking sheet and roast in the oven until the vegetables are slightly charred, about 7 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and set it aside.

4. Combine the prunes, apricots and raisins with the red wine in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a strong simmer and cook until the fruit has absorbed most of the wine and the remaining liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

5. Heat a dry medium skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in the oregano, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns, cloves, and canela. Cook, stirring constantly so as not to burn the spices, until they just begin to smoke. The moment they do, transfer them to a spice grinder and grind to a fine powder.

6. Drain the chiles and discard the soaking water. Combine the chiles, vegetables, fruits and ground spices in a very large heavy-bottomed pot. Pour in the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until the flavors meld.

7. Meanwhile, peel the plantains (just as you peel bananas) and slice them crosswise into 1-inch thick pieces. Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep skillet over medium heat and fry the plantain slices (in batches, if necessary) until they’re golden. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon or skimmer and add them to the mole pot along with the chocolate and tortillas. Simmer for 15 more minutes.

8. Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Puree the mole in batches in a blender until it’s very smooth. Season with salt to taste. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.

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