Improvise Dear Boy, It's The Only Way

Thursday 13/10/2005


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Diary and Notes

Some time ago I made turkey with chocolate and mandarin sauce that I said was originally inspired by a Mexican dish turkey mole. Today I thought I'd have a go at the proper Mexican version and scoured the internet for a good recipe - of which there mere many. I found a really quite superb site dedicated to Mole Recipes which has loads of tasty ideas. I now know that mole sauce isn't the simple chocolate and chilli creation I was expecting and there appear to be several different styles: Pablano, Oaxaqueño, yellow, green, black, mountain... they really must love their mole these people.

Unfortunately every recipe for a real mole sauce I found required ingredients I just can't get here. The types of chillis required were all Mexican and we don't get Mexican chillis. Almost every recipe also called for fresh tomatillos. I have never seen a tomatillo anywhere in Britain and without ordering some from the internet at some massive expense these would just have to be omitted. There were other problems too; Mexican unsweetened chocolate, avocado leaf and Mexican Canela bark have never been seen anywhere in Britain by me or by anyone I know (although my chum Dr Welshegg once brought some Mexican chocolate back from holiday but that was all eaten years ago). It was going to be a tricky thing this mole sauce, very tricky indeed.

So I had to improvise.

To get around the chilli problem I used a variety of chillis, fresh, dried and smoked. The nearest thing to unsweetened chocolate is cocoa powder and a big dollop of this replaced the original ingredient. I omitted the tomatillos completely. In fact this isn't a true Mexican mole at all. I was originally calling this dish mole Oaxaqueño as that's what the recipe is based on but it should really be mole Manchestaqueño - it will be all the rage in the posh suburb of Didsbury when they get hold of the recipe.

So how was my mole sauce?

Really quite good. I was pleasantly surprised - it was much better than I thought it would be and I would definitely eat this again. In fact I will probably be eating it again when my blog finishes in a week because I made so much sauce I now have two large jars of the stuff sitting in the freezer. Lucky me. Unless auction them on Ebay - bids to start at thruppence.

Cake Blog

Vanilla Natas: From Costa Coffee - a bit like a very well made custard tart with cinnamon on top.


  • Mole Manchestaqueño
  • Spring Onion, Tomato and Yellow Pepper Salsa
  • Rice
  • Tortillas


    Mole Manchestaqueño
    300g Chicken
    100ml Chicken Stock
    3 Hot Green Indian Chillis
    3 Mild Green Kenyan Chillis
    3 Hot Dried Red Chillis
    1 tsp Mild Chilli Powder
    1 tsp Chipotle Chilli Powder
    1 tsp Smoked Paprika
    1 Onion
    4 Cloves Garlic
    1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
    1 Slice Bread
    1 Plantain
    25g Peanuts
    25g Almonds
    25g Raisins
    1 Can Plum Tomatoes
    1 tsp Sesame Seeds
    2 cm Cinnamon
    1 tsp Oregano
    1 Heaped Tbsp Cocoa Powder
    Salt and Pepper


  • Poach the chicken in the stock until tender. While the chicken is poaching prepare the following and set aside:
  • Toast the sesame seeds and nuts in a dry pan until lightly toasted.
  • Likewise toast the paprika, chipotle, cinnamon and dried chillis.
  • Fry the other chillis, onion and garlic in a little oil for a minute or two.
  • Fry the sliced plantain in a little oil.
  • Fry the bread in a little oil. Put all the set aside ingredients in a blender, add the tomatoes, raisins, oregano and cocoa. Blend well until really smooth. Simmer the sauce with a little more chicken stock. When the chicken is cooked pour over the chicken and eat with tortillas.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for two people