No matter how many times I revisit this recipe for Mole de Pollo Mexicano, I am amazed on how all these different ingredients come toghether. And they come together so beautifully to yield this complex, colorful palette of flavors that can be hard to describe, unless you have tasted it. It could be a bit intimidating and overwhelming, but can also and easily be broken down into steps. This is much how I approach some of these traditional recipes. You get such a sense of satisfaction as you see it come together. And when you finally sit down to enjoy your plate of this delicious food you prepared with your own hands, you cannot help but feel that those loved ones that inspired you, were there with you somehow. Even though your version may be different and updated to suit your liking. The fact remains that you immerse yourself in tradition and by doing so, their legacy continues one way or another. This recipe is a mix of things I learned from my Mom and techniques I learned along the way. I continue to learn and I welcome it. #foodieforlife #mexicanfood
Yields 6-8 Servings
Prep Time- 45 minutes
Cook Time- 2 hours
*3 1/2 to 4 pounds of previously poached chicken pieces, reserve all of the broth
10 dried chile ancho
10 dried chile guajillo or chile california
3 dried chile chipotle
8 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup of raisins
5 Roma tomatoes
1 medium white onion, cut into thick slices
4 serrano peppers, stems removed
10 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup sesame seeds, plus another 1/4 cup for garnish
1 teaspoon anise seeds
2 inch piece of cinnamon stick, broken in half
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
1/3 cup of roasted peanuts or 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
12 saltine crackers or 1 toasted bolillo roll(sliced)
2(corn tortilla) tostadas
1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons of olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 disk of Mexican chocolate(3 ounces) , broken into pieces
2 tablespoons brown sugar, more to taste
2 1/2 to 3 pounds of poached or roasted chicken pieces ( skin on, bone in)
1. Preheat comal (griddle) to medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove stems and seeds from the dried peppers. Transfer to comal. Toast for a few minutes, turning as needed. Do not leave them unattended or they will burn and become bitter. Transfer the peppers to a pot of simmering water Cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Drain liquid from peppers, transfer to the blender. Add 3 cups of reserved chicken broth, 1/2 tablespoon of cumin and 2 teaspoons of salt. Blend on high until smooth. Strain the sauce through a wire mesh strainer for a smoother sauce. Set aside. Cover the raisins with enough hot water to cover, set aside.
3. In a large pan add the almonds, pepitas, sesame seeds, anise, cinnamon stick and oregano. Heat pan to medium/low heat. Toast, stirring often, do not leave unattended, or they will burn. After about 6 to 8 minutes, remove all spices and nuts from pan and transfer to coffee or spice grinder. You may have to grind in two batches. Grind into a paste, set aside.
4. Preheat broiler to high for 5 minutes. Line a baking sheet with foil paper and add tomatoes, serranos, onions and garlic. Broil for 12 minutes, turning after 6 minutes. Remove from broiler and let cool. In the blender, add the ground almonds/spice mixture, broiled tomatoes, serranos, onions, garlic, peanut butter, crackers, tostadas, cumin, drained raisins, 1/2 teaspooon pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 cups of reserved chicken broth. Blend until smooth, set aside.
5. This is where your mole comes together. In a large, heavy pot, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. After 3 minutes, add the chile sauce and cook for 20 minutes. Add in the other blended sauce. Stir well to combine. When it comes to a boil, taste for salt. Add the Mexican chocolate, brown sugar and remaining 3 cups of chicken broth. Add the cooked chicken pieces and continue cooking for 1 hour The sauce will darken as it cooks. Toast the remaining sesame seeds for garnishing mole. Serve with warm tortillas, rice, beans and a fresh salad. Yields 6-8 servings.
Step, by step it comes together…..
Tips~ There two ways you can prepare the chicken pieces.
- Place in large pot covered with about 10 cups of water, 1/2 an onion, a whole bulb of garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery and salt. Bring to a boil and poach for a good hour, skimming the top, as needed.
- Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Sear in preheated oil for 5 minutes per side. Cover with water and the same ingredients as listed above. Cook as directed.
Tips~ Depending on what kind of dried chiles you use, they will yield a different color of mole. The longer the sauce cooks down, the darker it will become. if you have the time, I would suggest cooking the sauce for an extra hour or more.