Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mole Negro Oaxaqueño (Black Mole, Oaxaca-style)

Like I've said in previous posts, mole is a type of complex Mexican sauce TYPICALLY involves spices, dried chiles, & chocolate. It's prepared with either chicken, pork, rabbit, or turkey. You can think of it as a type of "Mexican curry" and it's not pronounced like the animal "mole" it's pronounced "mo-lay" haha cuz if it was mole as in the animal that name would sound kinda gross...

There are TONS of variations and types (black, yellow, white, green, poblano, manchamanteles, almendrado, chichilo, rojo, coloradito, de olla, etc. all with a variety of ways to prepare them and recipes that vary from cook to cook) the most popular Mole sauce is "Mole Poblano" that's what most people are familiar with in the states and popular through out Mexico. The provinces most well known for their Mole is the state of Oaxaca as well as Puebla, yup yup.

Anyways today I want to share how I make "Mole Negro" I am VERY well known in my family for making a BOMB @$ delicious Mole Negro, I make it ONCE a year or ONCE every 2 years for special events (someones bday, my grandma from my Mexican side when she visits us, or holidays). Be warned it is fairly simple, BUT very very time consuming (give yourself 5 hours) that is the reason it is considered "special" the marriage of the smokey peppers, chocolate, sugar, sweet spices, nuts is unique but delicious they actually go very very well together... oh and one more WARNING PLEASE if you are making this don't get lazy along the way and try to rush it because you may ruin all your hard work... I tried to make this for one of my friends couple years ago (Travis) and was rushing while making it and trying to multi-task, I accidentally over charred the dried chiles in the oil because I was getting distracted trying to chop other stuff here and there, etc... and it made my whole batch of Mole BITTER T_T so please take your time and be careful with it okay.

Ingredients for the stock:

-4 1/2 lbs chicken (I used 2 large breasts, 5 drumsticks, and 2 thighs with leg skin on bone-in)
-1 large bell pepper
-1 onion
-6 cloves garlic
-2 medium tomatoes
-1 tsp. cumin
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp ground black pepper
-3 bay leaves
-4 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
-3 or more teaspoonfuls salt to taste
-water enough to cover all ingredients

Main Ingredients for the sauce:
-5 chiles chilhuacle negros (dried chile negro)
-5 chiles mulattos (dried mulatto chiles)
-5 chiles pasillas (dried pasilla chiles)
-5 chiles guajillo (dried guajillo chiles)
-2 chiles chipotles (dried chipotles or in adobo)
*****here's a picture, the one's on the far left are guajillos, followed by the beige one's those are chipotles, then the mulattos which are dark, followed by the chile negro, and lastly the chile pasilla or ancho they look similar to the mulatto chiles but have a black reddish tinge, the mulatto is completely black.***
-5 tomatillos (green tomatillos) halved
-3 roma tomatoes halved
-1 medium onion quartered
-8 cloves garlic peeled
-1 frying banana/ plantain ripe
-2 slices of bolillo or french bread or white bread
-1/2 cup black or white sesame seeds
-1 small handful of each almonds, pecans, and peanuts (optional you really don't need them at all, alot of people don't use them)
-1 handful raisins
-1 stick cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
-3 cloves
-1/2 tsp oregano
-1/2 tsp. thyme
-2- 3 bars/ round tablets of Mexican Chocolate (such as Ibarra chocolate, or Chocolate Abuelita)
-salt to taste
-sugar to taste (I use 1/8 of a cup)

Ingredients to make the mole black:
-1 corn tortillas turned into ashes (optional, you may not be able to do this because it needs to be outdoors CANNOT be done inside your home)
-the seeds and stems of the dried chilies turned into ashes((optional, you may not be able to do this because it needs to be outdoors CANNOT be done inside your home)

Directions for making the stock:
(1)
Wash chicken very well, rinse several times, drain, last rinse do it with salt, vinegar, water, rinse again and pat- dry.

(2)
Add chicken to a pot, cover with water, add all the stock ingredients (onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano)

(3)
Bring to a boil on high, lower heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour. When done turn off heat.

Directions of the sauce: (do this while your stock is being made/ boiled)
(1)
Remove the stems and seeds from ALL the peppers, except chipotles. Set aside in a bowl.

(2)
Make sure you have all the ingredients for the sauce on hand, like have htem all on your kitchen counter ready to use. Gather everything you need.
(3) Heat a medium sized pan, add 1/3 cup lard, and 1/3 cup oil or all lard. The rest of the procedures are pretty much frying all the stuff your gonna use for your sauce.
(4) First fry your plantain slices, over medium high, about 3-4 minutes on each side, until caramelized, pull out of oil, drain, and set aside.
(5) Fry your cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, and if using your almonds, pecans, and peanuts when cinnamon stick opens and pops, remove everything you added set aside.
(6) Fry your raisins, less than 30 seconds set aside in large empty bowl, get your bowl of chiles and briefly about 20 seconds each, fry it in the oil, in batches, drain and set aside into another empty bowl you'll have on hand. (Don't panic at this point I bet the chiles are absorbing most of the oil that's fine you'll still have some left)


(7)
Fry the slices of bread until golden, and set aside.

(8)
Now fry the onions, garlic, and tomatillos, do not stir constantly let them brown and caremelize, fry the tomatoes at the end. Set aside.
(9) Fry the sesame seeds briefly like 30 seconds until you hear a popping sounds, set aside.

(10)
Toast all the chile seeds until they smell a little bit and slightly change color. Set aside

More Directions for the sauce:
(1) Okay you have everything fried now, pretty simple just time consuming and make sure you don't burn anything... by now your stock should be made, get a medium pot, add your chiles & raisins, cover with the hot chicken stock, and bring to a boil for about 10- 20 minutes until tender.
(2) Now puree/ blend/ liquify EVERY single ingredients including spices EXCEPT chocolate for your sauce in a blender, using the chicken stock, do this in batches. Empty the contents into a very large pot or bowl. Set aside.

(3)
Now heat a large pot on the stove, when hot, strain the blended mole sauce ingredients through a strainer, adding stock to the strainer to help get it through (this is to get rid of any seeds or pulp, and hard spice pieces that didn't get liquified enough).
Bring to a boil, add chocolate tables, salt, and sugar to taste.

(4) Allow sauce to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes- 1 hour.

Directions to blacken sauce (optional I know it's a hassle but I did it, it makes a difference, and as opposed to what many think it won't make the sauce bitter TRUST ME)
(1)
Get 2 corn tortillas, and practically burn them until they can't even ignite on fire, turn it to ash, DO NOT do this indoors, the smoke will make your fire alarms go off, smell really bad, and make you choke and cough

(2)
The way I did it was I charred the tortillas until they can ignite on the stoves fire, then put it in a pot broken up, over medium high heat, covered the pot with it's lid, and wrapped the top around the lid with a WET very DAMP cloth towel, this is so the smoke doesn't get released into your house. DO this for about 10 minutes.

(3)
Carefully move it outside (I took it to my balcony) open it carefully not facing it, ITS hot be careful, allow smoke to go outside, and stir and see if it turned to ashes/ super black and can't ignite.

(4) If not repeat step... it's a bit tedious but work it. Now puree it/ blend it with the chicken stock and strain it into the mole pot.
Simmer additional time until mole darkens.
It won't make it bitter though TRUST, it's actually tasteless (I tasted the ash lol.) I don't know how healthy that is to do (probably not so much because of all the carcinogens) but I learned that technique from other people and it contributes to taste & supposibly makes it easy to digest the sauce.

More directions/ tips
(1)
Only use enough stock to puree the ingredients, you are not making soup, teh sauce should be like a loose gravey or regular gravey consistency. If it came out to soupy puree in blender about 1/2 cup of masa harina flour with some of the leftover stock, and thicken the mole with that.

Directions to serve:
(1)
Place a piece of chicken on your plate, that you have aside in the pot that it boiled in, ladel the mole sauce over it. Serve with whatever you'd like (Mexican red rice that you can make using leftover stock, refried beans, etc. or just warm corn tortillas) I served it with a Mexican yellow rice, fire roasted poblanos sauteed with onions in cream (chile en rajas con crema), and refried peruano beans.
P.S.I originally got the recipe many years ago from an online website called "Mole Pages" the URL was www.ramekins.com/mole/molenegro.html the website no longer exists, but it said it was from "Chile Pepper Magazine, Jan 95 couresy of Michael Bowers (mkbower@ucdavis.edu)" BUT I changed the recipe a bit but used it as a guide to get a good idea, and also learned from watching other cooks, and asking friends and relatives (I learned to fry all the sauce ingredients from my aunt Sylvia from San Antonio, Texas, and the making of the ashes from "Angrychrisjavi" from Dallas, Texas, she's one of my favorite youtube Mexican cooks. I also tweaked the quantities of ingredients and omitted and added some, and the results are very good, I get nothing but compliments for this mole and have also learned from trial and error :) It's my own but I want to give tribute to where I learned it from/ got the idea from :)

Notes:
You will probably have leftover sauce, it freezes well, or you can cook any other meats and top it with the mole sauce, or sautee some onions, add beaten eggs to scramble, then add mole sauce to simmer YUM good breakfast with corn tortillas, or even poach eggs in the sauce... or you can eat a hot bowl of just the sauce with corn tortillas and beans... or use the mole sauce in place of the red enchilada sauce to make some "enmoladas" :)

7 comments:

Maangchi said...

Nathan! wow mole recipe! Thank you so much!

Nathan said...

Hi Maangchi,
Thanks for the visit :) yup Mole is one of those crazy dishes lol somehow all the flavors come together :)

Anonymous said...

mmmmm I just adore mole andjuging by the picture it looks just right!! do you prefer it with lots of chocolate or spicy? when my mom used to make mole for us and because I love love love it with lots of chcolate, I used to wait when nobody was around and I'd add more chocolate to it!!! hee hee hee then I'd hear my mom yell: " WHO PUT MORE CHOCOLATE IN THE MOLE!!!! ;)

Nathan said...

Hi Anonymous,
I <3 mole with lots of chocolate too! I know to some it may be taboo but I really like my mole on the "sweet side", like it sweet, chocolatey, yet salty and savory at the same time, not too spicy though. :) thanks for stopping by :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan, love your site! Just curious, can you make this sauce black using blue corn instead, maybe a blue corn tortilla? If so, it would definitely be a more healthy alternative.

Nathan said...

Hi Anonymous,

That would work too, or you can omit it, another thing I use, is I use all the veins and seeds from the dried chilies and you can burn them til they are charcoal. Google "activated charcoal" or "edible charcoal" it's very interesting, the charcoal you create using the chilie seeds or tortilla is very different from charcoal used for making fires and grilling.

Mole can vary a lot feel free to be creative and make it your own, blue corn tortilla would be fine :)

Alfred E said...

Oh thank god! i've been looking for a great and easy to follow recipe for a Mole ever since I got back from Cancun. I've tasted Xelha's mole and I've been looking for something similar to it and this was pretty spot on. Oh and cool! Maangchi commented!