Can you Mole?

How does one describe mole? “It’s sorta like a weird beef stew, but with chocolate”. “Hot like good Mexican food, but wicked sweet at the same time”. Then there’s my favorite…”it’s like Mexican curry…different in every town”. I call this version

Old Family Recipe Mole
Serves 4-6

2 1/2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ cubes

Into 3T of softened tomato paste, add:
2T chili powder (try ancho chili powder for heat)
2T cinnamon
1/8t cloves OR 1/2t mace
1t ground coriander
juice of 1/2 lemon, about 1T
2t natural or organic smooth peanut butter
2T unsweetened cocoa (not Dutched)
salt to taste (at least 1t)

In a food processor, blend until you have a smooth but crumbly paste:
1/4C dark raisins
1/4C roasted, salted pepitas
1/2C pecans

Put crumbly paste into  bowl, blend thoroughly. Mix in one, 10oz can of roasted tomatoes and blend well.

In a heavy deep skillet, heat 2-3T olive oil. Add one small chopped yellow onion, one clove smashed garlic, one half roughly chopped green pepper. If you want a hotter dish, this is the place to add more chiles. Sweat these ingredients until light brown. Add the chicken and stir until brown. Deglaze the pan with 1/2C-3/4C beer. Add the mole sauce and stir until thoroughly mixed. Let simmer for 35-45 minutes, stirring now and then. If needed, add more beer. Garnish with pepitas or green onions chopped fine. Serve over white or brown rice.

And beer. Cold beer.

Recipe courtesy Quinn McDonald
Photo courtesy egullet.org

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All rights reserved, 2011.

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