Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey in Mole Poblano

Tukey Mole Poblano
The Bayless/Saveur recipe came out great, as I guess you can see above. Definitely a two day affair I'd say... while time wise it would be possible to make the mole and braise the turkey breast in a single day (it took me probably 6 hours to make the mole), making the mole requires so much attention and so many individual steps that it would be very difficult to make any side dishes at the same time. On the other hand, if you make the mole ahead of time you only have about an hour in the oven (plus browning and resting at either end) so you can concentrate your efforts on other things. It's not terribly spicy...  only a hint really...  so I'd think this would work for a wide range of palates...  though it's not for traditionalists obviously.

As far as tips and comments... I think a skinless turkey breast makes more sense here... after braising, the skin was a soggy, flabby, unappetizing mess... and I just ended up removing it. An intriguing alternative would be to remove the skin a fry it in the oil before finishing your mole (step 6)...  you'd still get the turkey flavor, but you'd also get a crackling as a snack...  which sounds pretty awesome. Because I didn't do either of these two options, the mole needed to be defatted thanks to the added rendered fat from the skin... so keep that in mind if you're going to leave the skin on and make the mole separately. For the mole specifically, during the "frying chiles, nuts, and raisins" stage I would have a two quart saucepan with a fine mesh strainer in it sitting next to you. When an ingredient is done just pour both it and the oil through the strainer... much easier than fishing out pepitas before they burn with a slotted spoon, and you can easily pour the strained oil back into your skillet and keep going.

I now have a ton of leftover mole (awesome) that I guess I'm going to freeze... since even as delicious as it is, I think I'm going to need a little break. But the future mole options (chicken, steak, what else?) really is an attractive added benefit for this recipe.