Mexican cuisine is one of my favourites and with Cinco de Mayo quickly approaching it was the perfect excuse to indulge a bit! In fact, I figured that I would go all out and make a mole sauce . There are many different kinds mole sauces but perhaps the best known one is the mole poblano which contains many ingredients including chocolate. I have always been intrigued by the idea of using chocolate in a savoury dish and so as soon I heard about a mole sauce I had to try it. In this mole sauce the chocolate adds to an already complex flavour base without dominating but rather complimenting the other flavours really nicely.
If you just look at the list of ingredients and the instructions it is easy to see that this is a fairly time consuming recipe and because of that, I do not make it too often but, it is well worth the effort! The base of this mole sauce is comprised of chilies, nuts and seeds and the body is built up with onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomatillos, and even a plantain. Next up is are some spices, the chocolate and some thickeners. Despite the long list of ingredients and the time required, this recipe is pretty straight forward and easy.
One of the things that I like so much about this mole sauce, other than how tasty it is, is that you can use it in so many different dishes. I always enjoy simply serving it on chicken but it also goes well in tacos, enchiladas, etc. Now that I have my mole sauce made, I am looking forward to some tasty dishes with it over the next few days as Cinco de Mayo comes!
Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 2 hours Total Time: 3 hours Servings: 4 cups
A thick and tasty chocolate mole sauce that is just filled with complex flavours.
- 1 (2-3) pound chicken
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup oil
- 5 ancho chilies, tops removed
- 5 guajillo chilies, tops removed
- 2 tablespoons slivered blanched almonds
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
- 2 tablespoons pecans
- 1/2 pound plum tomatoes
- 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed
- 1 large onion, cut into wedges
- 8 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 ripe plantain, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 4 cloves
- 1/2 star anise
- 1 1 inch stick of cinnamon
- 3 whole allspice
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 slice stale bread, toasted
- 2 corn tortillas, torn into small pieces
- 1 tablet Mexican chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Place the chicken, onion, garlic and salt in a large pot, cover in water and boil until the chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken, set it aside to cool and strain the water that it was cooked in.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat. Fry the chilies until they start to change colour, about 20-30 seconds and let drain on paper towels.
- Bring the chilies and 2 cups of the reserved chicken water to a boil in a large sauce pan, reduce the heat and simmer until very soft, about 30-40 minutes.
- Puree the chilies in a food processor with some of the water that they were cooked in.
- Strain the chili puree though a fine mesh sieve. (Note: You will need to push the the mixture to get it through the sieve.)
- Heat the oil that the chilies were fried in over medium.
- Add the chili puree and simmer until it thickens, about 15 minutes.
- Toast the almonds, pecans, peanuts, pepitas and sesame seeds in batches.
- Puree the almonds, pecans, peanuts, pepitas, sesame seeds in a food processor along with 1/4 cup of the reserved chicken water.
- Add the mixture to the chili puree and continue to simmer over low.
- Broil the tomatoes, tomatillos, onion and garlic until charred on all sides and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat.
- Add the plantain and fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side and set aside on papaer towels to drain.
- Puree the tomatoes, tomatillos, onion and garlic in a food processor.
- Add the tomato puree to the pan that the plantain was cooked in and simmer until it thickens, about 25 minutes.
- Add the plantain and raisins to the tomato sauce and simmer until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Puree the mixture and add it to the chili sauce and continue to simmer on low.
- Toast the cloves, star anise, cinnamon, allspice and peppercorns and grind in a coffee grinder.
- Add the ground spices along with the oregano and salt to the mole and continue to simmer on low.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Add tortilla bits, fry and set aside to drain on paper towels.
- Pulse the bread and tortillas in a food processor until they form bread crumbs.
- Mix the bread crumbs, chocolate and brown sugar into the mole sauce and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes adding more chicken water as neccessary.