Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mole Rojo Almendrado y Encacahuetado Con Pollo (Red Almond and Peanut Sauce with Chicken)

Mole (pronounced Mole) is generally a complex sauce made of chilies, nuts/ seeds, onions, garlic, sometimes tomato and other ingredients like chocolate depending on the type.

This mole I'm presenting today is a very simple variation of Mole. I came up with it on sort of a whim when I was at my partners house and wanted to make something special for both of us :-)  so Mole popped into my head... with chicken and anything I had on hand...  So I got my creativity on and just thought of the elements of a mole. Sweet, savory, smokey, spicy, fruity, rich and then I simply let my imagination run wild combining those flavors generally fused into a mole sauce using what we had on hand. 

He almost always has almonds or almond butter and peanut butter in the pantry... I usually make sure I have on hand when I'm there dried "Chile California" which there was plenty of, and always have dried fiery "Chile Japnones" to make hot sauces on a whim ;-)... so those were key elements in the sauce... 
THE RESULTS... well a very complex tasting, rich, savory, sweet, spicy,  smokey, fruity, rich nutty sauce that is actually VERY SIMPLE to put together, but combines many elements. It's one of my partners favorites and I've made it several times a year :-) The list may look long, but you can really complete this dish in 1- 1 1/2 hrs which is fast for a Mole sauce (most Mole's take 3-5 hrs). The ingredients are generally readily available here in California and in the rest of the U.S.

Main Ingredients:
-3-4 lbs chicken (bone in skin on or no skin), pork, beef, or turkey meat
-salt to taste
-ground black pepper to taste
-garlic powder (sprinkle all over meat)- optional
-oil, just a little enough to lightly coat pot and brown meat

Ingredients for the sauce:
-1/4- 1/3 cup oil
-7 dried "Chile California" (remove top stem, split open and remove seeds)
-1 large handful "chile japones"
-1 stick of cinnamon
-1/2 of a medium onion or 1/4 of a big one  (quartered)
-2 cloves garlic
-1 about 1 cup almonds or 4 heaping tablespoons almond butter
-1 small banana or plantain (optional)
-1 large salad tomato (quartered) or 3-4 roma tomatoes (cut in half)
-4 heaping tablespoonfuls of peanut butter (or regular peanuts) (optional)
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon oregano
-2 heaping teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
-1 large tablet of "Mexican chocolate" such as Ibarra or "Chocolate Abuelita" (may substitute for unsweetened cocoa powder about 3 tablespoons, 1/2 or more tsp cinnamon and sugar to taste or this sounds like taboo but a packet of hot cocoa would work)
-sugar (sugar to taste more or less I like it on the sweeter side, OPTIONAL)
(1) Heat a large deep pot over high heat, wash the meat you are using (I like to rinse with water, then cover in sink with water, add some vinegar, lots small handful salt, wash well, drain, rinse again, drain, then pat-dry, you may clean it however you like though I find the way I do it kills any "gamey" taste) now that meat is cleaned, drained and dried, set aside.
(2) When your pot is hot, add some oil, and then your meat to it and sprinkle generously with salt (not too much I'd say about 1 teaspoon or so to taste), sprinkle black pepper all over, and garlic powder, allow meat to brown on both sides or all over for about 10 minutes or until browned all over. (During this time we don't have to sit and wait we can PREPARE THE SAUCE) BUT do not forget to stir occasionall. 

PLEASE NOTE: If it browns too much while your spending time making the sauce, simply remove chicken from pot and set aside, then heat the pan again with chicken and all before adding blended sauce. SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW

Directions for sauce:
(1) Heat oil in a small pan over medium high heat, fry the dried chilies for about 30- 60 seconds until they slightly change color and they sort of coil or close in a way, do not over fry them because they will become bitter, remove set aside. 
(2) Now fry the cinnamon stick until you hear it pop and open a bit, remove set aside, fry the almonds, when browned remove and set aside... 
 (3) Next fry the  small banana cut in rounds or length wise, when browned set aside. Now fry the piece of bread until browned on both sides.Set aside.
(4) Then the onions, and garlic until golden brown, add the tomato in wedges and let it cook on high until it cooks through and blisters. now add tablet of chocolate and let it melt and bubble into the mixture. Set aside...
(5) In a regular blender blend all ingredients in batches with cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and the chicken powder. DO NOT ADD SUGAR YET.
(5) By now your meat should be browned, add all the well blended contents into the pot, give it a good stir, scraping the bottom of pot to get the nice drippings and fond, add more water to thin out the sauce.
(6) Once it bubbles, add enough water to barely cover meat, bring to a boil, add chocolate, sugar, any additional salt to taste, cover and leave on medium low approximately 45- 60 minutes until meat is tender, and oil rises to the top (this is how you know the mole sauce is done). 

(7) Remove from heat and serve with rice, and any sides you would like.

P.S. This is my "rasquache" style mole, my way/ "a mi manera" and it's damn delicious ;-)


Tiffany said...

This is awesome!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad your back! I have done 3 of your recipes and they have come out sooo good especially the oxtail recipe my husband always requests for! Thanks:)

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back!! I can't wait to make this for my family. Please post more recipes :)

Anonymous said...

I'm soo glad you're back!! I can't wait to make this for my family. Please, post more recipes!!

JC Gibbs said...

This looks so delicious. I've never made mole myself so I'm looking forward to experiment with this one sometime soon I hope!

JC Gibbs said...

This looks so delicious. I've never made mole myself so I'm looking forward to experiment with this one sometime soon I hope!