Rich Red Mole with Chicken

I have shied away from making Mole for a while. Mainly because it seemed very complicated. Well it is! But it was SO WORTH IT! This meal took us a really long time to make and a lot of effort, but now with one mole under my belt, I feel like I understand the dish a bit better and would be able to make another much easier. Now in my head, Mole has become like a curry, but instead of making the paste with raw spices and herbs, we must first cook the ingredients, make the paste, and then cook them some more! With this mindset, Mole becomes more approachable to me. There are many shortcut moles out there, but you know me, I have to go to the most authentic recipe I can find. This is where Rick Bayless comes in. We got this recipe from his book “Authentic Mexican.” I was not going to put up this recipe, and just suggest buying the book, but lucky for you all, I found it online! The link is at the bottom of the page, along with the tamale recipe.

Make sure you get raw peanuts, in the shells and the skin.

These were not the exact chiles, but it’s what we could find. At least we found the most important one, Anchos.

Here Mandi is breaking the chiles down and getting them ready to cook.

This is a plantain.

Making a paste with oregano, thyme, cinnamon, bay leaf, peppercorns, chocolate, and cloves.

This is the bowl of items ready to be blended into mole. We start with some tomatoes we have cored and skinned. Then some tomatillos we simmered for about 10 minutes. Then the paste Mandi just made..

This mix is diced jalapenos, smashed corn, and grated onion. This is for the tamale.

With these pictures, I am hoping to show you the difference in color before and after I fry the ingredients. The sesame seeds didn’t get that much color though. After they cook, into the bowl with the tomatoes.

The chiles only need about 5 seconds in the hot oil. Do them in small batches so youo can manage it.

Next, dump boiling water over them and allow them to reconstitute.

More tamale ingredients.

We saved 1 and 1/4 cups of boiling water to mix with the cornmeal. After 10 minutes, add the masa harina.

you want to save the chile oil to fry the rest of the ingredients, but I wanted to strain it to take out the little burnt pieces.

Making mole is a lot of work. You need a snack in the middle. Since we bought corn tortillas to add one to the recipe, we decided to fry up the rest and get some restaurant style tortilla chips.

Salt them right out of the oil.

MMM we made this salsa the other day from the recipe at the bottom of the page.

Back to work prepping the mole! Peanuts in, peanuts out. They took about 5 minutes.

Rasins next.

Get the onions and garlic nice and browned. Squeeze out the excess oil before adding it to the mole bowl.

Mandi finished up the tamales as I finished the frying.

These corn husks have been soaking in water for an hour.

Plantains are last. Now take that big bowl of stuff and toss it into the blender with a cup of chicken stock. Puree until smooth. Remove it from the blender and clean out the blender.

Quarter the chicken so you get 2 nice big leg/thigh portions, and 2 breasts. Save the rest of the chicken to make stock later.

Brown the chicken well on the outsides.

Strain out the chiles. We like to save that nice chile stock, but most recipes throw it away! We made a mess trying to save it.

Blend thoes chiles up good. Add a half cup of the chile stock, and a half cup of chicken stock.

Add this chile paste into the pot and cook that till it browns. Note the difference in color in the pictures?

After 3 or so minutes, add in the mole paste.

MMM chocolate swirl! I was getting strong notes of cinnamon at this point and I didn’t really have high hopes for the final outcome of the dish. Anyways, let this simmer partially covered for 45 minutes.

This would be a good time to start steaming the tamales.

After 45 minutes, the dark meat goes in. 10 minutes later, the breasts. 13 minutes after that, they should be done.

Yum. Looks kinda like BBQ chicken.

So I was wrong when I thought it would be too cinnamony. The flavors were fantastic. It was such a deep rich smoky flavor that contrasted well with the light, tender and delicious chicken.

As Raymond Blanc says, this recipe seems “a bit daunting”, but trust me, if you are at all interested in these flavors, or true Mexican food, MAKE THIS! It was amazing. We also ended up with a bit of mole left, so we froze it to have an easy weeknight meal at some point. Just defrost and add chicken! The point is, all of this work also allowed us to eat twice rather than just once.

Mole Recipe from Rick Bayless.

Tamale:
Mix 2/3 cup very finely ground cornmeal with 1 and ¼ cups boiling water. let stand 10 minutes. Mix in ¾ cup of masa harina.
Mix with half an onion grated
4 jalapenos diced
2 cups of frozen corn, thawed and mashed/diced
Half stick melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
Salt

Wrap mixture in corn husks that have soaked in water for an hour. Steam tamales for an hour to an hour and a half. If using a tiered steamer, swap tiers half way.

Salsa:
7 tomatoes (rinsed)
5 tomatillios (cover removed, rinsed)
4 cloves garlic (peeled)
5 jalapenos (tops removed)
4 white onions (peeled and halved)

cover with water, bring to a boil, cook until tender, skin tomatoes, blend with salt/pepper, let cool, lime juice, cilantro, more s&p to taste