Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"The Story of Mole" with Erika Linares

While we may think of enchiladas or tacos as the most notable food from Mexico, in fact Mole is considered Mexico's national dish. Much loved by Mexicans everywhere, it is believed that Mole has a religious foundation. Erika shares one version of the Mole story, where it was part of Aztec rituals. In another story she tells about the beginning of Mole due to a nun's quick thinking in a colonial Spanish convent. It might be noted that, currently, cooking and eating Mole is regarded as an act of resistance against the proliferation of fast food restaurants.

Mole Poblano

1 chicken or equivalent chicken parts
8 anchos chiles (guajillos)**
15 mulatos chiles **
2 pasillas chiles **
1 chipotle chile
3 medium green tomatoes, chopped (jitomales)
50 grams of almonds
50 grams of raisins
2 tblsp of roasted peanuts
1/2 loaf of French bread crumbs
1 crushed fried tortilla
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 medium sized onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 bar chocolate
1/2 cup of oil
salt to taste

** Mexican chiles are only available in Mexican stores, though substitutes could also be used.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and cook until brown on all sides, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until almost cooked through (approximately 20-25 minutes). Set aside.
Grind the almonds and peanuts.

Combine the chiles, onion, garlic, tomatoes, almonds, peanuts, tortilla, bread crumbs, raisins, cloves, cinnamon. Saute in oil and cook about 15 minutes. When cooked, puree small amounts of this mixture in a blender until smooth. Add a small amount of water each time to make it smooth. Cook the sauce another hour.

Add the cooked chicken to the mole sauce and leave it cooking for at least another 25 minutes. Add some chicken broth if needed as the sauce should be very thick. Add the chocolate.
When finished, sprinkle some ground peanut on top.

Serve with rice and tortilla.

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