Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chicken Mole

(6 servings)

Since moving to Texas, I have discovered there are endless varieties of chicken mole to be found. This Mexican dish features a complex sauce made of chilies, nuts and chocolate.

I have no idea how authentic my version is. It's come about from trying different recipes and making adjustments here and there until I had something I was happy with. The chilies I use are pretty mild; if you prefer something hotter, then feel free to swap them out. This recipe doubles easily and freezes well.

2 dried ancho chilies
2 dried mulato chilies
1 dried pasilla chili
1 1/2 cups hot water

1 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup green pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds

1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon

4 roma tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup raisins

1 cup chicken broth
2 disks Mexican chocolate or 3 oz unsweetened chocolate

12 skinless and boneless chicken thighs, try to get fairly large ones

Heat a skillet over medium heat and toss in the dried chilies. Toast them until they begin to smell smoky. Remove from heat and transfer the chilies to the hot water to soak for about 30 minutes or until they have softened. Sometimes I do this the day before and let them soak in the water overnight.

Return the skillet to the heat and add the teaspoon of oil.  Add the pumpkin seeds, almonds and peanuts, and stir until they begin to warm up. Add the sesame seeds and continue to stir until the nuts are lightly toasted and you can smell them. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Heat a tablespoon of oil a large dutch oven or heavy pot and add the onions and garlic. Saute over low heat until the onions are a nice medium brown; about 10 minutes. Stir in the salt, cumin and cinnamon.

Remove the chilies from the water and reserve the liquid. Remove the stems and seeds from the softened chilies.

To the bowl of a food processor, transfer the toasted nuts, softened cleaned chilies, the chili water, tomatoes and raisins. Process until smooth.

Transfer the processed mixture to the softened onions, and stir in the broth. Cook over medium heat until the mixture simmers. Add the chocolate and stir until it has melted. Set the heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, checking and stirring from time to time.

Add the chicken, stir, cover and cook over low heat for an additional 40 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Serve with rice and salad.

1 comment:

Elliott Broidy said...

This is one of my favorite meals!

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