Scott and I made our very first mole sauce. And I have several thoughts about it.
First, it was hard. The ingredient list is extensive and some of the items are very obscure. For instance, I had to go to three stores to find the correct chiles and one of them one was only half right! Oh and adding cinnamon to regular chocolate does not make Mexican chocolate, by the way.
Second, we did not look up any other recipes to compare ours to. I think that would have helped us get an idea of what we were getting ourselves into and maybe grant us a little leeway with the amount of some of the ingredients, ahem, orange.
Third and finally, it took about 4 and half hours with both of us working at the same time. The prep work alone was an hour. Have you ever thinly sliced a 1/2 cup of almonds? Neither had I. Have you ever stemmed, seeded and sliced five chiles? Neither had Scott. Geesh!
I will say that I enjoy cooking and was very happy to have made this dish. It was interesting, again oranges, and I will be using some of the sauce tonight for enchiladas. My parting advice to you is read recipes all the way through, a couple times, before embarking on a culinary adventure and always question the amount of orange rind being used. Always.
- 3 tablespoons (or more) peanut oil (preferably unrefined), divided
- 5 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 3 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1 1/4 pounds onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 6 large garlic cloves, sliced
- 4 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 4 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 4 ounces dried pasilla chiles,* stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
- 1 ounces dried negro chiles,* stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces, rinsed
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 4 3x1/2-inch strips orange peel (orange part only)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 3.1-ounce disk Mexican chocolate,** chopped
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Warm flour tortillas
- * Available at many supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Latin markets.
- ** Dark, sweet, grainy-textured chocolate disks flavored with cinnamon; available at Latin markets and from mexgrocer.com.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add chicken to pot; sauté until lightly browned, adding more oil by tablespoonfuls as needed, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to large bowl.
- Return chicken and any juices to pot. broth and orange juice; bring just to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until chicken is tender and just cooked through, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 18 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add almonds, garlic, cumin, and coriander. Sauté until nuts and garlic begin to color, about 2 minutes. Add chiles and stir until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.
- Using tongs, transfer chicken to large bowl. Pour chicken cooking liquid to saucepan with onion mixture (reserve pot). Add raisins, orange peel, and oregano. Cover and simmer until chiles are very soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Let stand until chocolate melts and sauce mixture cools slightly, about 15 minutes.
- Working in small batches, transfer sauce mixture to blender and puree until smooth; return to reserved pot. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Coarsely shred chicken and return to sauce; stir to coat. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Chill until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over low heat before serving.
- Transfer chicken mole to bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas.Courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazinehttp://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2009/05/chicken_mole