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Name of Event

Our Lady of Guadalupe - Mexico

Cuisine From

Mexico

Description

Traditional robust, nutty, spicy chocolate chicken dish

Summary

Yield 6-8 servings
Preparation time 15 minutes (quick version) 1 hour 30 minutes (traditional version)
Cooking time 1 hour
Main Ingredient Chicken

Ingredients

For the chicken

  • One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Making the mole (quick version)

Making the mole (traditional version)

CHILE PASTE:

  • 8 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded #
  • poblano chiles, roasted, seeded and peeled #
  • About 1/3 cup/80 ml chicken broth
  • Salt

MOLE:

  • 1/4 cup/60 ml canola oil or lard, plus more for simmering
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml whole almonds
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml pecans
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2 ml anise seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2 ml cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2 ml black peppercorns
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 plantain, cut into chunks
  • 2 corn tortillas, toasted and torn apart
  • About 3 2/3 cup/910 ml chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml roughly chopped Mexican chocolate (you can substitute dark chocolate) #
  • 1 tablespoon/15 ml sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Instructions

Cooking the Chicken

  1. In a medium casserole dish, combine the chicken, bay leaves, onion, garlic, peppercorns and a generous pinch of salt.
  2. Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is almost cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate (keep warm) and strain the broth into a heatproof bowl, cover and chill.
  3. Set aside 4 cups of the broth and refrigerate the remaining broth for another use.

Mole (Quick version)

  1. Wipe out the casserole and add the mole to it. Whisk in the 4 cups of reserved broth until smooth and bring to a boil. Season with salt. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the casserole and simmer over moderately low heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer the chicken to a platter and skim any fat from the sauce. Spoon 2 cups of mole sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve the remaining mole sauce at the table.

Chicken Mole (Traditional version)#

For the chile paste:

  1. Toast the ancho chiles by opening them and pressing them flat in a hot skillet for a few seconds on each side.
  2. Soak the chiles in hot water until they are very soft, about 30 minutes. Drain and pour into a blender with the roasted poblanos and chicken broth. 
  3. Pulse until pureed. Season with salt and set aside. 

For the mole:

  1. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet/pan over medium heat. Add the almonds, hazelnuts, pecans and sesame seeds and cook, stirring until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
  2. Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon to a food processor or blender. Add the raisins  and stir for a minute as they puff. Put them in with the nuts. Add the anise seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon stick to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about1 minute.
  3. Transfer to the food processor. Add the garlic and onions to the skillet/pan and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove to the food processor with the nuts and raisins.
  4. Then, fry the plantains and add to the food processor with the tortillas. Add about 1 cup/250 ml chicken broth and blend to a smooth paste. 
  5. In a large skillet/pan, heat some more oil over medium heat and pour in the mole. Add the ancho chile paste, chocolate, sugar and remaining 2 2/3 cup/660 ml chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking on low heat for about 1 hour.
  6. Spoon 2 cups of mole sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve the remaining mole sauce at the table.

#  This mole can be made well ahead and the leftover sauce can be kept very successfully in the freezer for about six months. When reheated it will probably have to be diluted with more broth.