Saturday, April 09, 2005

Mole Poblano With Chicken

Mole Poblano with Chicken
Mole, pronounced (MOH-lay) is from the Nahuatl molli , meaning "concoction, or mixture".  Red mole is from central Mexico in the Puebla and Oaxaca regions, also know as the Land of Seven Moles.  Other mole colors include brown, black, green, and yellow.  This red mole is a rich, dark, reddish-brown sauce usually served with poultry. Generally, mole is a smooth sauce blended of onion, garlic, several varieties of chilies, ground seeds and a small amount of chocolate. It is important to note that not all moles contain chocolate. The traditional mole is usually served over turkey. 
 
I N G R E D I E N T S
1 (4 - 5) pound chicken, cut up in at least 6 - 8 pieces.
4 dried pasilla chilies
4 dried mulato chilies
6 dried ancho chilies
or 14 dried ancho chilies.
2 cups boiling chicken stock, fresh or canned
3/4 cup blanched almonds
I cup coarsely chopped onions
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped, or I cup drained, canned Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 cup lightly packed seedless raisins
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
I tortilla, broken in small pieces
I teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground canela cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons lard
2 cups cold chicken stock, fresh or canned
11/2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

I N S T R U C T I O N S 
NOTE: Review the instructions for handling of chilies before you begin this recipe.

Heat 4 tablespoons lard in 12" - heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and cook until brown on all sides, about 12 minutes.  Reduce heat to  medium-low and  continue to cook until almost cooked through approximately 20 - 25 min. Remove chicken and drain on paper towels. Set aside. Drain any excess lard from pan, do not rinse pan.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the mole (sauce). Prepare the chilies using the method described.  In a large bowl, pour 2 cups boiling chicken stock over the prepared chilies and soak them for about 30 minutes.

Blend the almonds in the jar of an electric blender until they are completely pulverized. Force the nuts through a sieve and return them to the blender with the chilies, their soaking liquid, the onions, tomatoes, raisins, 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, tortilla, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, anise seeds, salt and-pepper, and blend at high speed until the mixture is reduced to a smooth puree.

Alternative - Make Sauce By Hand
To make the sauce by hand, put the chilies, onions, tomatoes, tortilla and garlic through a food mill set over a large bowl and discard any pulp remaining in the mill. With a pestle, pound the almonds, sesame seeds and anise seeds in a mortar until they are pulverized, force them through a sieve, then stir the mixture into the chili puree. Stir in the chilies' soaking liquid and add the cinnamon, cloves, coriander, salt and pepper.

Preparation Continued
In a heavy  10 - inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the lard over moderate heat. Pour in the mole and simmer it, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Add the cold stock and the chocolate. Cook, uncovered, over low heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate has melted. Cover the skillet and set it aside off the heat.  Using the skillet the chicken was cooked in, return the chicken to the skillet. Pour the mole sauce over the chicken, turning the pieces about in the sauce to coat them evenly. Cover the skillet and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes, basting the chicken now and then with the sauce.

To serve, arrange the pieces of chicken on a heated platter and pour the sauce over them. Sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds.
Makes 6 - 8 servings
 
Adapted from Foods of The World, 1968

Resources
From mulato chiles to molcajetes.  All essential Mexican cooking ingredients at GourmetSleuth.com

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