To make the mole, in a dry skillet heated on high, toast the guajillo and ancho chiles on each side for about 10 seconds or just until they start to puff. Fill the skillet with enough water to cover chiles. Leave the heat on until water begins to boil and then turn off the heat and let chiles soak until soft, about 45 minutes. Once hydrated, discard the soaking water, rinse the chiles and place into a blender.
Meanwhile, to get started on the tamales, pick through the cornhusks and choose the widest ones. You’ll need 24 for the tamales plus a couple of more to rip into strips for fastening the tamales. Place the cornhusks in a pan of boiling water, turn off the heat and submerge until completely covered. Let soak for 45 minutes or until soft and pliable.
To continue making the mole, add the vegetable oil to the skillet and while stirring occasionally cook on medium-low heat the onions and garlic cloves until they start to brown, about 5 minutes. Lift the onions and garlic from the skillet with a slotted spatula and place into the blender. In the same skillet, add the pecans and while stirring occasionally cook on medium-low heat until they are slightly darker and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and cook for 1 more minute. Add the roasted nuts to the blender.
Also add to the blender the cranberries, cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, crushed tomatoes, corn tortilla strips, and broth. Blend on high speed until smooth.
Pour the mole into a pot, and cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, tasting and adjusting spices and adding salt if necessary. Once the mole has cooked, pour out half the mole and set aside. Add the shredded turkey to the pot with the remaining mole and stir until the meat and mole are well combined.
To make the masa dough, in a mixer, beat the lard or butter until fluffy and creamy. Add the masa harina, chicken broth and cayenne and continue to beat until the dough comes together into a moist dough. Taste and add salt if necessary.
To form the tamales, take a moistened cornhusk, which you’ll notice has four sides and is in sort of a cone shape. Place the cornhusk in front of you, with the pointed end at your right. In the center of the husk, spoon out 1/4 cup of the masa and spread it leaving a clean border around the masa. Place 1 tablespoon of the sauced turkey in the center of the masa along with 1 teaspoon of the mole salsa.
Now, join together the two long sides (not the pointed side and the wide side) and then roll the husk until it’s about the width of a cigar. Take the narrower, pointed end and fold it up about 1/4 way of the tamale. You can leave it like this or you can rip strips from a cornhusk and tie the tamale in the middle. Alternatively, you can rip strips from a cornhusk and after rolling, tie up each end like it’s a package.
In a large pot, place a steamer basket or a colander. Add water to the pot just to the base of the basket. Place the tamales in the basket seam side down, bring the water to a boil and then cover the pot and turn the heat down to low.
Check the water level occasionally to make sure there’s enough in the pot, and steam the tamales for 2 hours. You’ll know they’re done when the masa pulls cleanly away from the husk. Serve with additional mole sauce. They will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days and can also be frozen. To reheat the tamales, once thawed, steam them for 20 minutes.
Turkey tamales with guajillo-cranberry mole | www.homesicktexan.com