A thousand years ago the Aztecs knew something that Norteamericanos are still struggling with, at least once a year: Turkey just isn’t very good. Sure, deck it out with mom’s stuffing, aunt Carol’s squash soup, some candied carrots, a metric ton of mashed potatoes, a couple of pies and plenty of liquor, and it will go down, but it’s no picnic. Gravy is nice, but realistically, more drastic measures are clearly called for:
I combined the two recipes, along with some Oaxacan mole wisdom (because it’s clear that certain general assumptions are being made in the recipes), thusly:
Take mulato, ancho, and pasilla (only belatedly did I realize that pasilla chiles were the closest thing to the “chilohatle” chiles in the recipe – I actually used arbol chiles to try and give it more heat) and boil them gently in water, just enough to hydrate them.
Then split them and remove the stem, seeds, and, especially if you want to keep the mole mild, the veins.
Reserve the water that you boiled them in and add while blending (I do everything by hand, but I didn’t do this by hand) the chiles with:
Cocoa (you can do cinnamon or cocoa but I did both)
Roasted sesame seeds (like cinnamon, not pre-hispanic, but “traditional” – often used as an either or with the peanuts, but I was on an ingredient roll)
And turkey leavings/juices
The whole thing is then added to around 32 ounces of crushed tomatoes and simmered for 3-4 hours, minimum, closer to 6 is probably better because what you’re looking for is the flavors to merge completely, giving over their individual identities to become something else entirely.
It will take a couple of times to get the fire that you want just right – and it’s easier to add cocoa and calm the sauce down that it is to get it hotter towards the end of the cooking process. No matter how it turns out, it’s unlikely to be insipid!