TASTE & CREATE - OCTOBER 2008
Here's my simplified explanation...
MOLE: (pronounced moh-lay)
A spicy sauce of Aztec origin, usually having a base of onion, chilies, nuts or seeds, and unsweetened chocolate and served with meat or poultry.
Aztecs? The Aztecs were an ancient people of central Mexico. :)
For October's Taste & Create challenge, I was paired with the lovely Silvermoon Dragon of Dragon Musings from Australia. After browsing thru all her wonderfully simple recipes-I decided to give Mole another try. You see I had bought a jar of Mole from Trader Joe's once and it just wasn't so good. It made be think I didn't like Mole *period, end of story*. But, Dragon Musings inspired me to give it another chance and make it from scratch using her Chicken Mole recipe.
HOW WAS IT?...
This Mole went way beyond my expectations and I will definitely make it again.
I strongly recommend you trying this recipe sometime. It may seem or look like you won't like it but I think you will.
It's fairly simple to make because your crock-pot does most of the work. I will be making this when I am able to get my act together and have friends over for dinner too because its sooo good but simple so there's not a lot of pressure and stress to get the food out on the table. Just plate-up the chicken and add a couple sides. Eat and have fun- I think crock pot- recipes are good in that sense.
MOLE CHICKEN Recipe
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 Serrano chile diced
2 medium garlic cloves coarsely chopped
1/2 white onion chopped
1 can (1/2 cup) diced and drained tomatoes
1 tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 ounce 100% dark unsweetened baking chocolate-finely chopped
1 tsp semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbs unsweetened baking chocolate powder
1 can chicken broth
1 tbs white wine vinegar
2-4 Boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
-Sautee almonds, Serrano chili, garlic, onion, and a dash of salt and pepper in 1 tbs olive oil until onions are golden brown and slightly soft. Take off heat and set aside.
-In a food processor or blender put tomatoes, brown sugar, cumin, salt, cinnamon, all chocolates, vinegar, and your sauteed onion mix.
-Puree mixture until blended well.
-Then add chicken broth and puree some more until a smooth paste (MOLE!)
-Pour Mole into your crock pot and then immerse your chicken breasts in the mole.
-Sprinkle your sultanas into the mix.
-Cook in your crock pot on LOW for 3-6 hours depending on how many chicken breasts you are cooking. (I made two and the chicken was done in 2 hours on low)
I Served the chicken with a little more of the sauce drizzled over the chicken alongside mini carrot Tarte Tatin and jasmine rice with pomegranate seeds. It was all really good and even my husband was surprised because he wasn't sure if he'd like the Mole sauce. The carrot Tarte Tatin may sound fancy and complicated but it really wasn't because I had already had the crust left over from mini Apple Tarte Tatin that I made previously. I will be posting my Tarte Tatin with apples very soon so don't go too far. :)
Mini Carrot Tart Tatin
(makes 2(6 oz. ramekins)
-Make pastry crust in advance if you can
1/2 cup + 2 tbs salted butter, cut into cubes and chilled in freezer
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cup flour
3-6 tbs ice water
-Whisk flour, and ginger together in a bowl and place in freezer for 30 minutes along with butter, the bowl and blade to your food-processor, and water (all separate).
A tip from Molly was: the colder everything is, the flakier and more tender the crust will be.
-Pulse butter and dry ingredients until the largest pieces of butter are no bigger than peas.
-Add ice water 1 tbs at a time, processing just until the dough starts to come together(it won't be a nice smooth ball because you don't want to over-process the dough.
-Pat into a ball and quickly roll out the dough to be about 1/4 inch. Take the ramekin you will be using and cut out the round shapes you need. Repeat with dough until you have enough rounds for however many minis you will be making. Cover them in plastic wrap with a layer in between each dough round. Store in fridge until ready to use.
8 medium size carrots, med-thin sliced rounds
1 shallot, thinly sliced rings
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp honey
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
-Preheat oven to 375
-Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place ramekins on the foil.
-Sautee all ingredients except the shallots until carrots start to brown, then add shallots and continue cooking until shallots are clear.
-Divide sauteed mixture into ramekins
-Place pastry crust over the carrots
-Bake in oven 20 minutes until crust is golden
-Let cool five minutes, then with oven-mits carefully run a knife around the inside edge of the ramekin, and place ramekin upside down onto a plate.
Jasmine Rice in Chicken broth
-Boil 1 cup chicken broth and 1 tbs butter
-Stir in rice and let boil again, constantly stirring, then lower heat to simmer
-Simmer 9 minutes
-Take off heat and fluff with a fork
-Let sit 5-7 minutes half-uncovered to "dry out"