Sunday, September 19, 2010

Holy Chicken Mole

I'm always on the prowl for new recipes. I got my most recent Taste of Home magazine in the mail, and I saw this recipe. Right away, I wrote down the ingredients I needed at the store. I couldn't wait to try it. I've never made homemade mole before, so I was all excited. It is a slow cooker recipe, but when I do it again, I'm going to cook the chicken in a skillet and do the sauce separately to serve over the chicken. It was still delicious though- don't get me wrong. It's not much to look at, but the flavor was out of this world. This mole sauce had two different types of peppers, chocolate, cinnamon, and tomatillos. I really liked it, and although it was a lot of effort, I think it's worth the effort to make it every once in awhile.

Holy Chicken Mole
adapted from Taste of Home August &September 2010

1 ancho chili, halved and seeded
3 tomatillos, halved, stem removed
1 medium onion, sliced, divided
1 serrano pepper, halved and seeded
3 garlic cloves
2 chicken breasts
1 T canola oil
2 t cumin, divided
1 1/2 t chili powder
1 t pepper
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/2 c almonds
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 T lime juice
1 t salt
1 1/2 c shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/2 c minced fresh cilantro

Place the ancho chili, tomatillo, serrano pepper, 1/2 onion, and garlic cloves on a greased cookie sheet. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
Let me tell you- the smell coming from that oven was so wonderful. I love the smell of onion and garlic anyway, but this was making my house smell like some kind of a Mexican cantina. Nice!

While that's cooking, put the oil in a skillet and brown the chicken on both sides. It does not need to cook all the way through since it's going to be in a crock pot for 4 hours. Transfer the chicken to a crock pot. In the same skillet, add the remaining onions, 1 t cumin, chili powder, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Put the almonds in a food processor and pulse it until the almonds are finely chopped- almost powdery. Add the onion mixture and chocolate. Pulse it again to get it all mixed up and finely, finely chopped. I should have pulsed mine a little more, but here's what you'll end up with:

Transfer that to a bowl and put the roasted vegetables in the food processor. Add lime juice, 1 t cumin, and salt. Mix it up. Add the vegetables to the almond mixture.

Stir them and put them in the slow cooker over the chicken. I wanted it to be more of a sauce, so I added 1/2 c of tomato sauce and a little more cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.

Cook it on low for 4 hours.

When it is done, put it on a plate, spoon some sauce over it, sprinkle it with cheese, and top with cilantro.

I served this with boxed Mexican rice, cheese quesadillas, and black bean and corn medley. I made that up, but I might put it on here one of these days... if I can remember how I made it. :)

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