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Chicken Mole

This mole is a thick, rich, chocolate-tinged, spicy sauce. Preparing most moles can be very time-consuming, labor-intensive and require many ingredients. Some mole recipes contain 10 different varieties of chilis, alone. This mole recipe is a fusion of grandma’s and mom’s recipes. More often than not, my grandma used a jar of Doña Maria mole paste, fresh-boiled chicken and a few spices, and that was it. Mom, on the other hand, uses some additional fresh ingredients and only a few tablespoons of mole paste to enhance all the natural flavors and tame the sweetness of the chocolate. This simple flavorful mole recipe gives you the soul of traditional mole without all the hard work.

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Ingredients

Chicken

4 1/2 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

1 small onion, quartered

1 to 2 pounds chicken breasts

1 bay leaf

Mole Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 bolillo (substitute small French roll), cut into 1-inch pieces

2 dried ancho chilis, stemmed, seeded, and diced

2 California chili pods, stemmed, seeded, diced

1 large or 2 small tomatillos with husks removed; rinsed and chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1 teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

3 3/4 cups chicken broth (reserved from boiled chicken), divided

2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

1 1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate (recommend Nestle-Abuelita), coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

3 tablespoons mole paste (recommend Doña Maria)

2 teaspoons salt

Directions

1. To prepare the chicken, in a large pot heat water, salt, onion, chicken and bay leaf. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate to cool off, and then shred. Discard bay leaf. Reserve broth and onion.

2. To make the mole sauce, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bolillo, chilis, tomatillos, tomato and sesame seeds, and sauté for 10 minutes, until soft.

3. Pour half the broth and boiled onion into a blender and add half the sautéed ingredients. Add peanut butter, chocolate pieces, cocoa powder, mole paste and salt, and blend until very smooth. Transfer the sauce to a large skillet.

4. Pour the other half of the broth and sautéed ingredients into blender. Purée and add to the mixture in the large skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Add 2 cups of the shredded chicken and stir until chicken is covered with the sauce. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring continuously to keep it from sticking to skillet.

6. Plate some mole on a serving plate and toss a handful of sesame seeds on top for garnish.

Note: To save time, you can also use 2 cups of shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken and canned low-sodium chicken broth.

Recipe from the Muy Bueno Cookbook

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