Monday, January 19, 2009

Easy Chicken Mole aka Gringo Mole

Based on how easy this recipe is, I am guessing it's not very authentic. That doesn't stop Curtis and I from loving it. I had a little bit of a hard time with the chicken I used. I pulled three previously cooked chicken breasts from the freezer and after the initial cooking (which was to thaw and season them so I could shred it), found they were tough and dry, like typical overcooked chicken. I followed the protocol for what to do when I was stuck while cooking. I used a lifeline and phoned a friend, or to be more exact, my mom. My mom wasn't sure, so I continued my way up the advice chain--first my grandma and then my aunt until I found some help. My aunt was right. Adding the chicken to the mole while it reduced helped tenderize the chicken and the dry problem was taken care of.

Which brings me to a key in a becoming a better cook. In order to become better, you need to know cooks better than you. It's very helpful to be able to call up someone when you get stuck and know that they will be able to help you. Cookbooks and internet can only take you so far, sometimes it helps to know an expert to ask advice.

Enough said, here's the recipe. J ate this ok. M didn't like it (and I didn't expect her to). Curtis and I love it. We ate ours with a side of corn and on tortillas. (I normally would serve this with rice, but I am having a hard time keeping my pantry stocked for some reason and we had no rice).

Chicken Mole
1 T olive oil
1 c onion thinly sliced
1 t cumin
1 t coriander
1/2 t cinnamon
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and torn into 1/2" pieces
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 c raisins
3 T sliced almonds, toasted
3 (1/2" x 2") orange rind strips
1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken
1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Heat oil in heavy dutch oven or stock pot over medium high heat. Add onion. Cook 5 minutes or until almost tender Combine cumin, coriander, and cinnamon in a small bowl; sprinkle over onion in pan. Cook for one minute, stirring very frequently. Add chiles and garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes or until chiles soften. Add broth, tomatoes, raisins, almonds, and orange rind strips to pan and bring to a boil. Add chicken to pan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan, shred with 2 forks, and set aside. Add chocolate to chile mixture; let stand until chocolate melts. Puree the chocolate mixture until smooth. Cook over medium heat 20 minutes or until reduced to 3 1/2 cups. Add shredded chicken to sauce, stir in salt and pepper and serve. (If chicken seems tough, add to sauce while it is reducing).

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