Chicken mole

Chicken mole made with a whole chicken

I threw together a chicken mole the other day, loosely using a barbequed ribs recipe passed along to us in cooking school.  The base recipe produces a dark, sweet-hot result that needs only a bit of tweaking to turn out something most people familiar with mole would recognize.  Check out the recipe and see what you think.  I made some cornbread to go with it.  Though using a cast iron skillet yields an excellent product, it is also nice to use an earthenware dish.  It looks good when you serve it, too, if you are willing to give up some of the crunchy goodness.

Chicken Mole

Place the following, quantities to taste, in a large bowl or other receptacle that is hand-blender friendly, meaning deep enough not to splatter sauce when you turn on the juice:

Cilantro, stems and all, rough cut
Green onions (scallions to you, East Coast), rough cut
Parsley, stems and all, rough cut
Garlic, chopped
Soy sauce
Black bean paste
Chili paste
Dijon mustard
Maple syrup
Chilis in adobo sauce (careful – this canned product is HOT)
Dried chilis (I use an assortment – whatever I have on hand)
Orange juice
Dried figs, rough cut*
Apple cider vinegar
Unsweetened cocoa powder*
Lemon rind
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Cumin (ground or seeds)
Thyme (dried, ground is fine)
Marjoram (dried, ground is fine)
Mustard powder

Using a hand blender, bring mass to sauce consistency.  There should be some substance left – but no big chunks.  Add water if you need to but do not allow the sauce to become runny.  Rub sauce onto and into a whole chicken and roast.  I like to use a cazuela.  You can use chicken pieces, if you prefer. 

Omit the figs and cocoa and use pork butt to make fabulous carnitas.  Just be sure to slow-roast the meat in a heavy pan and press a sheet of foil on top – but do not seal the pan.  Remove the foil for the last hour of cooking.

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