Holy, it's Chicken Mole!

>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chicken Mole - Scrumptiously Fit Food
When one thinks of chocolate, what pops to mind is a dark molten chocolate lava cake or a delicious chocolate soufflé, the perfect desserts to end that great meal. I do admit that they sound delicious, but I really wanted too look at the savoury applications of chocolate, utilizing its bittersweet flavour characteristics to create an indulgent recipe (plus, dark chocolate is heart healthy!).

It just so happened that while I was watching Food Network (when am I not watching Food Network?) the other day, I caught Tyler Florence from Tyler’s Ultimate making mole. A little more research led me to the definition of mole (or mole poblano as it’s called in Mexico), a traditional Mexican dish from Oxaca, which uses chocolate as its main ingredient. I had to try it and couldn’t run fast enough to the nearest supermarket to buy my ingredients. Tyler’s recipes uses a couple of different chilli peppers to get the spicy flavouring of the mole and since its not always easy to find dried chilli peppers at your local supermarket, I had to improvise…and so started my search for a more simplified version of the mole poblano recipe. I didn’t have to look far, thinking back to the recent book that I’ve just finished reading (A Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz) I knew I had what I was looking for.

Off I go melting the chocolate and blending away, at this point all I had to go on was what I thought the dish would taste like and the instructions given to me by Tyler and David (notice how we’re on a first name basis now?). As I added the chocolate and threw in my chiles, I was a little sceptical since everything looked an odd brown. I tried not to think about it and forged ahead with the excitement and anticipation of trying something truly different. Once everything was all blended, I added it to the chicken that was cooking over the stovetop (you can also use turkey which is considered more traditional in Mexico, since turkey was known to have been in the country before chicken was introduced) and viola! I could barely wait for the chicken to cool down before cutting a piece and sampling the creation, W-O-W and giddy joy was all I could remember from that first bite, but my second thought was…I have to blog about this. So here you go, my take on David Lebovitz’s Mole recipe, inspired by my food networkaholic watching ways.

Now you can tell all your friends that instead of just having your (chocolate) cake and eating it too, why not also enjoy your chocolate entrée as well? Delicious!

Chicken without the Mole sauce
Ingredients:
5 dried ancho dried chiles (or if you can’t find dried chiles, I used fresh jalapeno peppers along with 1 tsp of cayenne pepper)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup raisins or diced prunes
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, chopped (I used 2 because I love garlic)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp powdered cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground anise seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to tastefreshly ground pepper1 cup water (depending on the blended mixture, it could be more or less)
1 oz (28g) melted unsweetened chocolate (or dark chocolate)

Preparation:
Mole Sauce:
1) If using ancho chiles, soak them in hot water until they soften, roughly 30 minutes.

2) Heat some oil in a small skillet, once pan is hot, sauté the onions until they’re translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute.

3) Turn the burner to low-med heat. Add in the spices, herbs and stir until it’s mixed well, you might want to add some water to prevent the spices from sticking to the pan.

4) In a blender, add in all the above ingredients except the ancho chiles. Puree until smooth.

5) Remove the seeds and stems of the chiles and push it through a strainer. Add the paste to the puree and mix well.

6) Mole sauce is ready for use.

Chicken Mole:
1) Place a pan on medium heat and add a little canola oil. Add chicken to pan and let it sear until both sides are slightly crispy.

2) Add in the mole sauce until it just covers the chicken, put a lid on the pan and let it cook for 2-3 minutes or until the chicken looks just about done throughout.

3) Remove the pan lid and let the sauce reduce, if chicken starts to look over cooked, remove the chicken and reduce the sauce only.

4) Pour sauce over chicken and serve over rice or other grains, I preferred quinoa for the nutty taste. Enjoy!

Chicken Mole - Scrumptiously Fit Food

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