Turkey in a Dark Spice Sauce. Chilmole – sometimes called relleno negro – is made from one of the classic recados, or seasoning combinations. This dish, said to have originated in Campeche, is eaten all over the Yucatan peninsula.  Especially around Christmas and the New Year, when there is an abundance of leftover holiday turkey. It is a nice change from the usual round of enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, and other leftover turkey dishes. Make the recado now, and freeze it for use during the busy holiday season. You don’t have to tell anyone how easy it is.



2 tablespoons achiote seeds

¾ cup bitter orange juice (or a mixture of sweet orange juice and fresh lime juice)

2 lbs. dried ancho chilies, seeded and deveined

2 large whole cloves

4 large whole allspice

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1 head garlic, peeled (about 10 large cloves)

Salt to taste


Place the achiote seeds in a small bowl, pour the juice over them, and allow to soak 2-3 hours. Toast the chilies just until they give off their fragrance, soak them in hot water until they soften, and drain them well. Place all ingredients in a spice mill or food processor and process until they are well blended. They should form a thick paste, the consistency of chilled cookie dough. Makes about 1 ½ cups.



6 cups leftover cooked turkey, skinned and boned

8 cups turkey or chicken broth

2 oz. recado negro (above)

2 hardboiled eggs, sliced


Head the turkey in the broth. Mix the recado with a bit of broth to dissolve it, add to the turkey and broth, and cook to desired consistency. (It’s usually has the texture of a medium-thin mole.) Serve in bowls, garnished with hard-boiled eggs slices. Slices of a homemade pork sausage called but are served as an additional garnish, but the dish is rich enough without it. Accompany with plenty of hot tortillas.

Serves 6.