Chilli and chocolate – a heaven sent pairing with a gorgeous Mexican turkey mole…

Mexican food always has been and always will be something I love to eat. Seriously, I’m like a dog who doesn’t realise he’s had too much to eat and just…keeps…going.

Self control? Meh. Portion control? Pshhh.

I just completely adore it. I love the spices, the flavours, the fact that so much of it can be eaten al fresco and casually with your hands and the idea of topping everything with guacamole, re-fried beans, sour cream and cheese just speaks to my very soul. Shocking I know.

Mole poblano is a traditional Mexican dish which offers a decadently dark, chocolate chilli flavoured sauce over turkey and it’s exact origins are often debated through two legends…

…the first says that nuns from Puebla de los Angeles were panicked when they learnt that a visiting Archbishop would be coming to their convent. Their desperate prayers for help were answered by an angel who inspired them to combine chillies, spices and chocolate among other ingredients and to boil and reduce the result down until it became the thick, dark, rich product that we recognise now. Serving it with turkey, the only meat available to them, you’ll be happy to hear that the Archbishop loved it and the nuns were much praised for it.

The second legend says that the Aztec King Moctezuma served mole at a banquet to honour the conquistadors that he thought of as gods but whatever its origins, I think we should just send a general ‘gracias’ out there into the ether and honour both the nuns and the king by enjoying this dish not just on special occasions as in Mexican tradition, but whenever we can.

Truly authentic mole poblano has a list of ingredients a mile long so I’m not even going to pretend for one insulting minute that this version of it was slaved over. In actual fact, it was made with ingredients easily found in your local supermarket but don’t let that put you off because honestly, it’s really a delicious and different way of enjoying Mexican cuisine.

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