No Fuss Get it Done Delicious MOLE
I'm a busy gal. Have a hefty commute to and from work but when I want to eat a certain dish that is known to take some time and 'cultural' knowledge, work night or not with modern tools, I'll get what I want.
When I was growing up, my Grandmother and Aunts would take hours to make a delicious pot of chicken mole. The recipes in Mexico as well the US, are about diverse as any other well known dish in any culture. There are a million ways to do it out there but here is my not much time no fuss base recipe... well compared to those who feel it needs to take hours or days! I don't believe in with all the modern tools we have these days for the kitchen, great butchers and market products it is needed to fulfill your tummies cravings!
I had actually stopped at a place near where I work that makes the best home made Masa and Corn Tortillas ever. I mean I have never had a corn tortilla this fresh, Soft yet does what it's supposed to do. That and the fact their taqueria was closed that day made me decide I was making chicken mole for dinner as so wanted something to sop those delicious soft corn tortillas in. They are like nothing you will ever have in your life if you can find a place that makes really good homemade corn tortillas!!
- Chicken thighs boneless/skinned. Think about estimating half a pound per person.
- One 3oz. bag dried Guajillo Chile Pods. (Chile Guajillo Entero)
- One 1oz. bag of dried HOT New Mexico Chile Pepper 'powder'. (Chile Nuevo Mexico)
- One bag usually comes 2.25oz. dried Chile Puya Pods (Chile Puya Entera). Use only half to 3/4 if you like it really spicy or maybe just a quarter of the bag or NOT AT ALL if you have to have your fooled very mild.
- Orange juice, one orange would do or 1/2 a cup or so of already juiced.
- Peanut butter, just a heaping tablespoon.
- One chicken bouillon cube.
- Water, about 6 cups or half water and half chicken broth if you don't have a bouillon cube.
- Cumin, 1 Teaspoon.
- Two heaping tablespoons corn starch or all purpose flour.
You don't have to use chicken, you can utilize beef. Just make sure to break it down as nothing worse than a mole with tough meat. You can use any meat you want or be unique and use NONE AT ALL. Take your own spin adding firm tofu, seitan, paneer, it's up to you if you are a meat eater or vegetarian. Then you would know what to tweak and the make the recipe your own.
- First I get the chicken thighs salt/peppered and put in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes covered/sealed with foil. For California this works well but with where you live estimate your thighs to be JUST ABOUT DONE BUT NOT QUITE... they will continue to cook in the mole. If doing beef or other add shredded meat after breaking it down fully cooked in the oven. Vegetarians do your thing however you want with whatever you want to add.
- Cut the stems and shake out as many of the seeds you can of the Guajillo and Puya Chile Pods. Cut into 2 inch pieces and throw into a large pan. Make sure you get the seeds, stems in the trash away from domestic pets and toddlers. Turn the pan on high and shake to toast. The first smell of toasting turn it off and just flip the chili's around and add to a pan of hot water to re hydrate them. Toasting will really bring out the flavor.
Toasting your dried whole pod chiles.
Place in boiling water after to just hydrate but turn off the burner.
- Pour your whole 1 oz bag of dried New Mexico Chile powder into the leftover hot pan that you had the whole pods in and move around frequently for a few minutes without putting back on a burner. Also add your powdered cumin in with the NM Chile powder as toasting it a tad wakes it up. The cooling hot pan will toast the powder in a few minutes and set aside.
I am not sure how they got Mole to the consistency we all come to know a hundred years ago in Mexico but hope you have a multi purpose blender or hand immersion blender as we are going to blend the whole chile pods ON SLOW at first. They may still be hot and you don't want an explosion in your blender or up around your arm. Blend adding a couple of soup spoons at a time. Once you get all your chiles in go ahead and start to add the water they were soaking in one ladle at a time.
- Heaping tablespoon of peanut butter. Chocolate is also used in some recipes but I grew up with nuts being in it and peanut butter is fast and broken down:)
- The orange juice.
- Chicken bouillon cube.
- Cornstarch which is EASIEST AND FAST since it breaks down. If you go the flour route you really have to know how to break it down in some warm water to add to the mole while on the stove and stir. Corn start basically does all the work for you. If you want thicker mole, add a tad more corn starch.
- Your chicken should be ABOUT DONE.. Just slice it up into cubes or shred.
Add all the above to a large pot and let cook for a bit. Believe me with modern kitchen tools and decent meat (free range/organic) or tofu, whatever you desire... the flavors are there already. No more all day or week cooking on a lot of dishes. But I like to cook a bit more if using meat to let the two know each other after add the meat in.
Folks I apologize I was tired, hungry and needed to be on the road for my usual 1.5hour commute to work the next morning so my pics are not so great but it sure was delicious.. for a few days:)
Testing at home with those crazy good corn tortillas and some Queso Fresco on the side.
We have been known to make pans of enchiladas with this, as is a bowl of soup and was another alternative to gravy for Thanksgiving when I was growing up as a kid:)
prepping a care package for work the next day
ready to roll in mama lunch bag
Remember, life is too short to eat badly!