Lunchbreak: Turkey with Mole Negro

Midday News

Chef Carlos Gaytan, Tzuco

On Sunday, November 1 and Monday, November 2, Chef Gaytan will team up with three powerhouse women chefs at the forefront of Mexican cuisine for an extraordinary cultural experience: Chefs Celia Florián from Restaurante Las Quince Letras (Oaxaca, Mexico), Liz Galicia from Miel de Agave (Puebla, Mexico) and Diana Dávila Boldin from Mi Tocaya Antojería (Chicago, Illinois). Together, they will present a special five-course menu featuring original recipes from their homeland. Reservations are available via Resy.

Tzuco is also transforming the restaurant beginning October 31 to embrace the colorful and spirited traditions of Día de Los Muertos, which celebrates departed loved ones.

Also, those looking to take home a traditional Mexican sweet as part of their celebration can pick up the house-made traditional Pan de Muerto, now available for pre-order at







12 garlic cloves

1 tsp. cumin

1 branch fresh rosemary

1 tsp. black peppercorn

2 cups water

Salt, to taste

20 pound turkey, broken down into pieces

2 carrots

1 bunch celery

1 Spanish onion

10 bay leaves

2-4 tbsp cooking oil

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Cold Water


9 pasilla chiles, dried

9 mulato chiles, dried

5 black chilhuacle chiles, dried

4 oz. Mexicano or Oaxacan chocolate, pieces

½ white onion, toasted and sliced

3 garlic cloves

1 heirloom tomato, halved and husks removed

3 tomatillos, toasted and husks removed

5 to 6 cups chicken broth

4 tbsp. maize oil

1 thick sliced of bolillo or baguette bread, crumbs

1 banana or plantain, peeled and sliced

1/8 tsp. Aniseed

2 corn tortillas, broken in pieces

2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds

3 or 4 tbs. sugar

1 tbsp. raisins

1 tbsp. prunes

2 tbsp. almonds, toasted

2 tbsp. unsalted peanuts, toasted

2 tbsp. pecans, toasted

2 sticks cinnamon

3 allspice

2 cloves

2 tbs. raw sesame seeds

1/8 tsp. cumin seeds

1 ½ tsp. thyme, oregano and laurel

Sea salt

2 ½ to 4 cups water


  1. Separate the breasts, thighs and legs of the turkey. Transfer the turkey to a big bowl and set aside.
  2. In a blender, mix garlic cloves, cumin, rosemary, black peppercorn, water, and salt to taste.
  3. Add the marinade to the turkey and massage until all the chicken pieces are coated.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a pot over high-heat, sear the turkey legs and thighs on both sides until they start to brown.
  5. In the same pot over medium-heat, add the carrots, onion, celery, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Add cold water to cover the turkey and vegetables and simmer for approximately 2.5 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven 350°F. Line an aluminium foil steam-roasting pan, add the marinated turkey breasts and cover them with aluminium foil sheets. Roast the turkey breasts for approximately 30 minutes.
  7. Take off the aluminium foil and roast the turkey breasts for 10 minutes more.
  8. Set aside the turkey breasts for 5 minutes before carving/slicing the turkey.


  1. With a damp cloth, wipe the chiles. Cut a slit lengthwise along a side. Open the chiles up and remove veins, stems, and seeds (discard stems).
  2. In a large pan or skillet, toast only the seeds and veins for 6 to 9 minutes; set aside.
  3. Toast pasilla, mulato and black chilhuacle chiles from both sides until they start to brown. Transfer chiles to a bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let soak until chiles are softened for about 15 munutes.
  4. In a medium skillet over medium-heat, cook the onion, tomato, tomatillos and garlic for about 12 to 15 minutes until almost completely blackened. Let cool and then remove skin from tomato; discard.
  5. In a blender, mix the tomato, onion, tomatillos, garlic, and ½ cup of chicken broth; set the tomate purée aside. (tomato purée)
  1. Heat 1 tbs of oil in the same skillet. Add banana and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Place half of the banana in a medium bowl and the other half set aside.
  2. Add the toasted almonds, peanuts and pecans to the medium bowl with the banana. (banana purée)
  3. In skillet, toast breadcrumbs of bolillo or baguette and corn tortillas for about 2 minutes until golden brown; transfer to bowl.
  4. Toast cinnamon, cloves, allspice, raisins, prunes, sesame seeds, thyme, oregano, laurel, aniseed, and cumin seeds for about 3.5 minutes; transfer to bowl (toasted seeds).
  5. Working in two sets, add 1 cup of chicken broth to the banana mixture (add to each set), until very smooth. Transfer the banana mixture back to the bowl; set aside. (chile purée)
  6. Drain the chiles, reserving soaking liquid. Blend 1 ½ cups of soaking liquid, chiles, toasted seeds and ribs until smooth.
  7. Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a heavy pot over medium-heat, cook the chile purée, stirring constantly, until reduced for about 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce to low-heat, add the tomato purée and cook until thickened for about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the banana purée and simmer for about 7 to 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in remaining 1 cup soaking liquid and bring to boil, (stirring constantly). Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes (stirring constantly).
  9. Add Mexican or Oaxacan chocolate and stir until melted.
  10. For about 30 minutes, cook and stir the mole and add chicken broth until the mole is thick. Add sugar and sea salt, to taste.
  11. Serve the turkey and topped with mole negro.


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