6 each dried ancho, mulato and pasilla chilies, stems and seeds removed
10 tablespoons shortening, divided
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 teaspoon each coriander seeds and aniseed, toasted
10 whole peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick (1/2 inch)
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup salted pumpkin seeds or pepitas
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup raisins
2 slices French bread (1 inch thick), cubed
8 cups chicken broth, divided
2 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
In an ungreased skillet, cook tomatoes over medium heat for 10 minutes or until browned; set aside. In the same skillet, cook peppers, a few at a time, over medium heat in 4 tablespoons shortening for 20-30 seconds, turning often; drain. Place peppers in a large bowl of hot water; cover and soak for 1 hour.
In a spice grinder, combine sesame seeds, coriander seeds, aniseed, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon; process until finely ground. Set aside.
In a skillet, cook the almonds, pumpkin seeds and garlic in 4 tablespoons shortening until lightly browned, stirring often. Add raisins; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until raisins are plump. Add bread cubes; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until crisp. Drain well.
In a blender, combine 1 cup broth and reserved tomatoes; cover and puree. Add seasoning mixture, raisin mixture and 1 cup broth; blend until very thick. Pour into a bowl; set aside.
Place 1-1/2 cups broth in blender. Add peppers, one at a time; process to a thick consistency. In a Dutch oven, melt remaining shortening over medium heat. Add pepper mixture; cook and stir for 10 minutes. Add tomato mixture; cook and stir for 6-8 minutes or until thickened. Add the chocolate, salt and remaining broth. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until mixture reaches desired consistency. Serve with poultry.
Editor's Note: When handling chilies, disposable gloves are recommended. Avoid touching your face.
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.