Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chocolate + Chile = MOLE

Chocolate chicken or turkey. Some people think they are going to taste a drumstick smothered in Hershey's chocolate sauce. They couldn't be more wrong.

Mole, a sauce originated in Mexico, is made with chile peppers such as ancho or pasilla. It has ground nuts ( almonds or peanuts), spices, and Mexican chocolate. Dried seasonings such as ground oregano are also used. To thicken the sauce, bread crumbs or ground crackers are added.

A popular dish made in Mexico is made with mole and guajolote - turkey. Actually, it is regarded as one of Mexico's most popular dishes.

The time to create a true mole sauce is time consuming to many people. But as with everything else, there are alternatives. You can always use a prepared sauce "paste" to save you a little time and trouble. I've tried Doña Maria's and I like it just fine.

So if you would like to tempt your taste buds with this most exotic and historic (to Mexico) flavor combinations, try this dish of Chicken and Mole. Test for yourself and see why this dish is so popular. The chocolate taste is not overbearing, but rather it gives the sauce it's underlying flavor. Aprovecho.

Chicken in Mole
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ounces Mexican Chocolate, chopped

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and cinnamon. Cover and cook until onion is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder and flour, stir for 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in chicken broth. Increase heat to medium high. Boil until reduced, about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate; season with salt and pepper, if desired.

If you are using the prepared mole paste, after boiling your chicken, save the broth and shred the chicken. Combine mole paste (as per instructions on the bottle) with the saved broth. Add your shredded poultry and enjoy your delicious "chocolate chicken". Hasta luego.

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