Plated mole, with brown rice and chicken instead of the traditional turkey
Mole ingredients, starring tomatillos. Moles can also use tomatoes or a combination of the two.
All the ingredients
Ancho chili pepper, canela, cloves
Made sure my guests had something to much on while I cooked--salsa verde
The salsa verde was really tasty with the fried carrot chips. Use caution when frying, lest you accidentally dip a couple digits into the hot oil. *sigh*
Smoke detector with a gas mask, origami-style, as developed by Hun. I must do this whenever I roast or broil anything, and I did both with this recipe.
Roasted and rehydrated. Warning--when roasting, step away from the pan lest you are blinded and suffocated by the chili cloud that rises.
Blended in chili juice and pushed through a strainer. My strainer is one of my most dependable kitchen troupers.
Roast the garlic the same way I roasted the peppers--in my iron skillet.
I broiled the tomatillos under the broiler and toasted the sesame seeds in a frying pan. The almonds and raisins were fried up in the same frying pan.
Raisins fried up in the pan--funny how they puffed up, aspiring to be grapes again.
Toasted bread and Sensual Love Wei of Chocolate
All that stuff goes into the blender: tomatillos, sesame seeds, garlic, raisins, almonds, toast, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, then some water
Abusing my strainer with a whisk to push the puree through
Chili puree into the pot! I sauted the chicken in the pot, then scraped up the fond (tasty brown bits) to start the sauce. I added the chili puree and cooked it down to a paste, to which the tomatillo mixture is added, and then some water. Then the sauce is cooked for 45 minutes (though I went longer, trying to thicken it up).
I served it in a deep, narrow dish to keep it warm and make it easier to ladle out
Clockwise, from the mole at the top: brown rice, cubed chicken, pepino (cucumber salad with vinegar and cayenne), roasted veggies (red and yellow pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, with fresh oregano, salt, and olive oil), and sesame seeds for self-garnishing in the middle
Plate--note that I followed the good-nutrition rule to fill half the plate with veggies
Dessert! Chris brought chocolate cupcakes with cinnamon frosting, and they were delicious. The dish on the left holds persimmons, and on the right, papaya. The Mexican wedding cookies I made are in the blue bowl, and apricots are in the little ramekin (they were not so good)
I sent as much home as I could, and there was still just enough for leftovers for a few days. Two containers with chicken mole, and one with roasted veggie mole ... mmmmm ...
Adapted from Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless.
1/2 cup rich-tasting pork lard or vegetable oil, plus a little more if necessary
6 medium (about 3 ounces total) dried mulato chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
3 medium (about 1 1/2 ounces total) dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
5 medium (about 1 1/2 ounces total) dried pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) whole almonds—with or without skins
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) raisins
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, preferably freshly ground Mexican canela
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon anise, preferably freshly ground (optional)
A scant 1/8 teaspoon cloves, preferably freshly ground
1 ounce (about 1/4 of a 3.3 ounce tablet) Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped
1 slice firm white bread, darkly toasted and broken into several pieces
1/4 cup sugar (plus a little more if needed)
About 2 quarts chicken broth
12 good-size pieces of chicken—bone-in breast halves or leg-and-thigh pieces—trimmed of excess fat
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1. Prepare the mole base: If your slow cooker has a removable cooking crock that can be placed directly on the heat, measure in the lard or oil and set it over medium heat. Otherwise, heat the lard or oil in a very large (7- to 8-quart) pot or Dutch oven. When hot, add the chiles, garlic, almonds and raisins. Stir slowly and continually until the chiles are thoroughly toasted (the interior of each piece will become lighter in color) and the almonds have taken on a creamy color and toasty aroma—about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes (with their juice), spices, chocolate and bread. Cook until the tomato juices are reduced and quite thick, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water, the sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir to combine. When the liquid comes to a simmer, transfer the crock to the slow cooker (or scrape the mixture into your slow-cooker). Cook on low for 6 hours. After 6 hours most of the liquid will be reduced to a glaze. The mixture can hold for several hours on the slow cooker's "warm" setting.
2. Finish the mole: Scrape every bit of the mole base into a bowl, then scoop half of it into a blender jar. Add 2 cups of the chicken broth, cover and blend until as smooth as possible—for most household blenders this will take 4 to 5 minutes. Set a medium-mesh strainer over the slow-cooker's cooking crock and press the mole base through it. Repeat with the remainder of the mole base. Stir in 3 cups more chicken broth. Simmer in the slow-cooker for 2 hours or so on high. If the sauce has thickened past the consistency of a cream soup, stir in a little more of the broth. Taste and season with additional salt (usually about 1 teaspoon) and sugar (usually 2 to 3 tablespoons).
3. Grill the chicken: Light a gas grill, setting the temperature at medium on the sides, off in the center; or light a charcoal fire, letting the coals burn until they're covered with white ash and medium hot, then banking them to the sides. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces liberally with salt, then lay them, skin side up, in the center of the grill. Cover and cook until the chicken is done (160°F on an instant-read thermometer or a small knife inserted into the thickest part of the thigh draws clear—not rosy—juices), 35 to 45 minutes. With this method of chicken grilling, there's no need to turn the chicken, only to move pieces on the edge around if they are browning more quickly than those in the middle. The internal temperature of the grill should stay at about 325°F.
4. Serve: In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring nearly constantly, until lightly browned and aromatic, about 4 minutes.
Lay a piece of grilled chicken on each dinner plate. Pour a generous 1/2 cup of sauce on and around the chicken, then sprinkle with a generous shower of sesame seeds. Serve right away.