Wipe off any dusty crevasses on the dried chiles. De-stem and de-seed the chiles, but don't worry about getting rid of every last seed.
Roast the chile pieces for 1-2 minutes in a 400F oven. Alternatively, you can flash roast them in a skillet on the stovetop for 15-30 seconds per side. Once roasted, add the chile pieces to a bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let the chiles reconstitute for 20-30 minutes. If they float to the surface you can use a small bowl or plate to keep them submerged.
Rinse and de-stem 2-3 Roma tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes in a 400F oven for 20-30 minutes.
Roughly chop 1/2 onion and peel 6 garlic cloves. Add a glug of oil to a skillet over medium heat and saute the onions and whole garlic cloves until lightly browned. Once cooked, add the onion-garlic mixture to the blender.
Preheat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup sesame seeds, 8 whole cloves, 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns to the skillet. Toast until the sesame seeds are turning golden brown, stirring occasionally. Towards the end, add the powdered spices to the skillet (1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano) and cook briefly. Add the mixture to a food processor or spice grinder and grind into a fine powder, setting it aside until you need it.
By now the chiles are reconstituted. Take a taste of the chiles' soaking liquid. If you like it then you can use it to liquefy the sauce. If it tastes bitter to you then use stock to liquefy the sauce -- I used stock for this batch.
Drain the dried chiles and add them to the blender along with 2 cups of stock (or soaking liquid). The onion-garlic mixture should already be in the blender. Combine well. It's worth it to take a taste at every step along the way, starting now!
Add the roasted tomatoes to the blender and combine well.
Add the finely ground spice mixture to the blender and combine well. I also added another splash of stock at this point. You'll need 4-5 cups total for the recipe -- I usually just keep track of what I add when blending and then add the rest for the simmer.
Add 2 tablespoons raisins, 1/4 cup almonds and 1 teaspoon salt. Combine well.
Add 2 tablespoons lard (or oil) to a large saucepan over medium heat. Once heated add the Mole sauce. Cook briefly and at this point you can add any additional stock that was not added to the blender. Use a splatter screen if you have one, otherwise a lid or foil will do the job.
Once heated through add 2 oz. chocolate (optional). I used 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you can use Mexican chocolate if you want. For a sweeter batch you can double or triple the chocolate amount.
Once the chocolate is incorporated into the sauce take a final taste for seasoning. I added another generous pinch of salt to this batch, but keep in mind this will depend on which stock you use.
Serve immediately or simmer longer if you want to thicken it up. You can optionally strain the sauce at this point.
I kept it simple and made some impromptu Enmoladas. I rolled some cooked, shredded chicken and cheese in corn tortillas, crisped them up in the oven, and drenched them in the Mole Poblano sauce.
Store leftovers in an airtight container where it will keep for a few days.