If you’ve been to the Mexican Caribbean, chances are you’ve tasted mole sauce. But did you know that, according to legend, the spicy sauce was originally created for turkey? Apparently, back in the colonial era, nuns at the Convent of Santa Rosa in Puebla had to rush to prepare a meal for a visiting archbishop. So they killed an old turkey, cooked it, and mixed everything else they had into a sauce to go with the bird. So if you haven’t decided on your Thanksgiving menu yet (procrastinate much?!), you might want to try jazzing up your Butterball with this recipe for Turkey with Mole Sauce, shared by the chefs at Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort, where they’ll be serving it this week in celebration of the U.S. holiday.
Turkey con Mole Sauce (serves four)
1.25 lbs turkey breast
¼ cup vegetable oil
1¼ cup mole paste
¾ cup chicken broth
¼ cup nopal (Mexican cactus), peeled and cubed
¼ cup tomato, seeded and cut
¼ cup onion, diced
2 T coriander leaves, finely diced
½ cup lemon juice
1 large avocado
2 ½ teaspoon lemon juice
salt and pepper
1. Cut the turkey breast into four pieces and season with salt and pepper. In a frying pan, add oil over medium-high heat, and brown both sides. Remove from pan and finish cooking on a baking sheet at 350 ° F for about 8 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a pan over medium heat add the mole paste. Add the chicken broth slowly, bringing to a boil and then simmering until you’ve achieved a thick consistency. Set aside.
3. Combine the nopal, onion, tomato and coriander in a bowl, add ¼ cup lemon juice and season.
4. Blend the pulp of an avocado with remaining lemon juice and season.
5. Plate some sliced turkey over a layer of mole and dress with some drops of mashed avocado and pico de gallo.
6. Give thanks!
— Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, CJ Travel Editor