Keith Schroeder Keith Schroeder
September 29, 2015

To make mole poblano, the sweet, smoky, deep, mysterious sauce of Mexico, one need not dive into a history book or spend four days at the stove. It's a sauce that's easily pulled beyond lore, rules, and tradition—into the slow cooker, even.

Start by building smoky flavor—charred smoky, not barbecue smoky. Then impart sweetness and body; I use starchy-sweet ripe plantain for that. Savory notes come from the turkey itself, richness from nearly charred pecans. The liquid-to-stuff ratio is important. You're not looking for something pasty, but a smooth, just-viscous-enough gravy of the gods. Smoky. Sweet. A little spicy. Plenty savory. Toasty. Mad delicious.

Keith’s Recipe Breakdown(click the image below to enlarge)

Slow Cooker Turkey MoleHands-on: 45 min. Total: 6 hr.

Shred meat and return to sauce for ease of serving, or place drumsticks on a platter as in the photo above. Serve over rice or with corn tortillas. To prepare the dish stovetop, simmer in a Dutch oven 4 hours or until meat pulls away from the bones.

Follow These Steps:

1. Combine orange juice, ¼ cup lime juice, and turkey; refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove turkey from marinade; discard marinade. Pat turkey dry.

2. While turkey marinates, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles; toast 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly charred. Cool slightly. Remove and discard stems; keep seeds.

3. Bring stock to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add plantain, chiles, and pecans; simmer 20 minutes or until chiles are very soft.

4. Reduce heat to low. Add chocolate, stirring to prevent scorching. Add oregano, salt, and cumin; simmer 10 minutes.

5. Pour sauce into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a towel over opening in lid. Blend until smooth.

6. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add turkey; cook 10 minutes, browning on all sides.

7. Scatter celery, garlic, and onion in a 6-quart slow cooker. Top with turkey and sauce; cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or until meat is very tender.

8. Remove turkey. Shred meat; discard bones and skin. Stir meat, remaining lime juice, and sugar, if desired, into sauce. Top with cilantro and radishes.

NOW AN AWARD WINNER!

Keith’s first Cooking Light cookbook, Mad Delicious: The Science of Making Healthy Food Taste Amazing!, is a 2015 James Beard Foundation Book Award winner for Focus on Health.

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