Monday, March 1, 2010

Recipes to Rival: Chicken Mole Poblano

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Chicken Mole

I'm not normally a spicy foods eater. My tolerance for eat is low. Pathetically low if you consider the amount of spice that other family members like. Jalapenos, habaneros, etc all find their way on to their plates. Not mine though. Nope. Not me.

So naturally the challenge for February's Recipes to Rival is Chicken Mole Poblano. Mole is traditionally made from chili peppers, other spices, and chocolate. Chocolate? Now that's a new one. I've never had mole before but I had heard about it. It seemed like an odd combination of flavors but one that I've always wanted to try at least once. My only tiny problem was going to be the amount of spice. I'm open to trying new things, I just don't want to burn my tongue!

The recipe we were given is made of 3 different types of dried chiles. My local grocery store only had the dried ancho so I just used that for all 3. Besides that change, I also used dried cranberries instead of the golden raisins. I never have raisins anymore but I always have dried cranberries in the pantry. I also used chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken.

I thought the mole might be a little complicated to make but it was actually fairly simple. There are numerous steps that are pretty simple, they just take a little time to get done. I had planned on making this on a weekend day but ended up making it on a weeknight with no problems. From start to finish it took me less than an hour to make.

When I first tasted the mole before it simmered with the chicken, it was really spicy. I had only used one serrano pepper instead of the listed 2 so it wasn't as spicy as it could have been. But it was still really spicy with just the one. After it had simmered for about half an hour with the chicken, the spice had really mellowed out a lot. It still had a kick to it but it was no where near what it was before simmering.

I served the chicken mole poblano with brown rice, some sliced avocado, and a dollop of sour cream. Together it was a really delicious meal. The avocado and sour cream gave the mole a nice creaminess that help tone down what spice was left in the mole. I had extra mole leftover so I froze that for the next time I make pulled pork. I have a feeling it will make some really yummy tacos!

To see more chicken mole poblano, check out the Recipes to Rival blogroll.

Chicken Mole Poblano
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence


Mole sauce:
2 dried ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
2 dried anaheim chilies, stemmed and seeded
2 dried chipotle chilies, stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick, preferably Mexican, broken in pieces
1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 serrano peppers, stemmed and seeded
6 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Mexican, chopped

1 capon or large chicken, cut into 10 pieces
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chicken stock

Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Cooked white rice, for serving

For the mole: Tear the ancho, anaheim, and chipotle chiles into large pieces and toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat until they change color a bit, about 2 minutes. Put them into a bowl with the raisins and cover them with hot water. Soak unti softened, about 30 minutes. In the same skillet over medium heat, add the almonds, sesame seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, oregano, and thyme. Toast for 2 minutes, grind in a spice grinder, and add the powder to a blender. In the same skillet over medium-high heat add the olive oil, onions, garlic, and serrano. Cook until lightly browned, then add the tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 10 to 15 minutes, then add to the blender. Add the chocolate and the soaked chiles and raisins to the blender along with some of the chile soaking liquid. Puree, adding more soaking liquid as needed, to make a smooth sauce. (This makes about 4 cups sauce, the recipe uses 2 cups, the extra can be frozen).

Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and season it well with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet and brown the chicken on all sides; remove the browned chicken to a plate leaving the oil in the pan. Pour 2 cups of the mole sauce into the hot skillet and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and return the chicken pieces to the pan. Simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve over cooked white rice. Garnish everything with cilantro leaves.


4 Treats for Charlie:

Temperance said...

Next time I am goingto go the chicken breast rout too, how did the cranberries work for you? They sound great. There are so many diffrent ways to make this you just can't go wrong.

Claudia said...

You were brave! I added two Serranos, but if doing again would probably use one and a half. Guess, we all have our limits on hotness. I'll try my left-overs with the sour cream, and an avocado if one will get ripe by then.

Mary said...

You did a wonderful job with the challenge. Your photo is beautiful. Kudos.

Joanne said...

I LOVE mole and have been meaning to try out Tyler's recipe for a while. It looks like yours came out great. Kudos to you for trying a new dish!

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