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Food & Entertaining

MOLE POBLANO CON POLLO

Author: Monica Skrautvol
Issue: January, 2008, Page 300
Serves 6 to 8

Chile Sauce

2 whole dried mulatos chiles; reserve 1 tea-spoon of seeds
4 whole dried ancho chiles; reserve 1 teaspoon of seeds
4 whole dried pasilla chiles; reserve 1 tea-spoon of seeds
1 whole dried chipotle chile, seeds removed
1 ½ cups lard or vegetable oil
2 cups hot water

1. The day before serving, wash chiles and dry them. Open chiles and remove seeds, reserving some seeds for later use. Heat lard in a small sauté pan and quickly fry chiles, one at a time, being careful not to burn them. Place chiles in a bowl with hot water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight. Reserve excess chile cooking oil to use for seed-spice sauce.
2. The next day, place chiles and soaking water in a blender and purée into a thick sauce.

Chicken
1 large chicken, washed, dried and cut into 8 to 10 pieces
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt, to taste

Place all ingredients in a Dutch oven, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Check salt and set aside while you prepare seed-spice sauce. Reserve 2 to 3 cups cooking liquid for seed-spice sauce.

Seed-spice Sauce
3 large plum tomatoes, pan-grilled and skins removed
4 medium tomatillos, husks removed, tomatillos washed under hot water and then pan-grilled
3 teaspoons reserved chile seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup raw peanuts
½ cup whole blanched almonds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ medium green plantain (a starchy banana), peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
4 small gingersnap cookies, each broken into 4 pieces
2 small stale corn tortillas, cut into thick strips
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup cilantro leaves, washed and dried
1/3 cup raisins
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 to 3 cups reserved chicken cooking liquid
2 hard Mexican chocolates (the type of Mexican chocolate used to make hot chocolate), broken into small pieces
Photo  By Werener Segarra
 
1. Purée the tomatoes and tomatillos in a blender until smooth. Set aside.
2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved chile cooking oil, then add chile seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts and almonds and sauté until light golden. Stir in pumpkin seeds and cook another minute. Remove and set aside.
3. In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons reserved chile cooking oil. When hot, add plantain and lightly brown on both sides, then remove from pan.
4. Add 2 tablespoons reserved chile cooking oil and, when hot, place cookies and tortillas in pan and brown 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, cilantro and raisins and sauté 2 minutes. Mix in cloves, cinnamon, tomato-tomatillo purée, browned seeds and plantain and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. Place all ingredients except Mexican chocolate in a blender with chicken liquid and purée until smooth.

Final Steps
1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, slowly add the chile sauce and seed-spice sauce and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the Mexican chocolate, stirring constantly until it has melted. If the mole is too thick, thin with cooking liquid from chicken (you want a sauce that coats the chicken well but that is not too thick.)
2. Gently place chicken in sauce and toss to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook covered 10 to 12 minutes. Check salt and serve hot with white rice and tortillas.

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