While this magical pot of “everything but the kitchen sink” can be eaten anytime your heart desires, it is a special and labor intensive food served during celebrations throughout Mexico. With Día de los Muertos right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to spend an afternoon in the kitchen calling in the spirits of our ancestors, Abuelas, Grandmothers, Lolas, Memaws, Omas and Babushkas.
8 dried mulato chiles
8 dried pasilla chiles
4 dried chilhuacle negro chiles
1 plum tomato, halved
½ medium onion, sliced into 4 pieces
3 tomatillos, husks removed, washed
4 garlic cloves
1 ripe plantain, peeled, sliced
1 inch thick slice brioche bread, torn into large pieces
2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
3 whole allspice berries
3 whole cloves
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon aniseed
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¾ cup Flamingo Estate dried fruit and nut medley
4oz Oaxacan chocolate, broken into pieces
2–4 tablespoons sugar
6 cups chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Using kitchen shears or scissors, cut chilies lengthwise and remove seeds. Discard the stems and set seeds aside. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, toast the seeds until deeply golden brown, almost blackened. In the same skillet, place the chiles, cooking 1 minute per side or until they begin to blister. Place in a heat safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let rest for 20 minutes or until the chilies have softened.
While the chilies are soaking, place the tomato, onion, garlic and tomatillos in the same cast iron skillet. Cook for 15 minutes, turning every 3–4 minutes to achieve an even char. Place in the blender and blend with ½ cup of chicken broth. Set aside.
In the same skillet, place 1 tablespoon of oil and the plantains. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Place in a medium bowl. To the bowl of plantains, add the fruit and nut mix. Again, in the same skillet, place the brioche and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Add to the plantain bowl.
Once more, in the same skillet, add the cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, anise and cumin. Toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add to the plantain bowl. Place the contents from the plantain into a blender and add 2 cups of broth. Blend until smooth, adding more broth if needed. Strain the chilies, reserving the liquid, and place in the blender. Add 2 cups of broth and blend until smooth, adding more broth if needed.
In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil. Add the chili purée and cook, stirring constantly for 15 minutes (this will not only prevent the chili purée from burning to the bottom of the pan, but will also keep the mixture from splattering all over your kitchen) or until the volume has reduced by 1/3. Add tomato purée and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Next, add plantain purée and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add another 1 cup of the chilies soaking liquid, stir to combine, reduce heat to low, cover and cook another 20 minutes.
Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Mole should be thick enough to coat a spatula. If needed, add more broth to thin or cook slightly longer to thicken.
Serve over tamales. Use as a sauce for chicken, fish, brisket, or all of the above!