Making mole can be a long and often frustrating journey. It often takes several different specialty food stores, a few days, and the criticism that it doesn’t taste the same the diner’s abuela, or mother, or that restaurant in that tiny pueblo two hours away from the city. But one has to shoot for the stars right? So, here it is: after passing even the most stuck up mole snobs, this recipe proves to be a hit for a weeknight dinner. This mole is easy, is on the table in about an hour, and hits the same notes as your favorite mole. —mpittsm
boneless, skinless chicken breasts
dried pasilla chiles
garlic cloves, roughly chopped
toasted tortillas, torn into pieces
onion, roughly chopped
teaspoon dried oregano
smooth peanut butter
teaspoons powdered chicken bouillon (recommended: Maggi or Knorr)
tablespoons canola oil
olive oil (for the chicken)
tablets of Mexican chocolate (90 grams each), recommended Ibarra or Abuelita, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven at 375F. On a baking sheet, season the chicken with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Bake the chicken for 25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 165F. Set aside.
While the chicken is baking, fill a medium size pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasilla chiles and turn of the heat. Soak the chiles for 30 minutes.
While the chiles are soaking, in a dry skillet toast the sesame seeds and pepitas. Set aside to cool.
In a dutch oven or large pot, add the canola oil and heat on medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (1 minute).
After the chiles have soaked and are softened, cut off the stems off all of them and take the seeds out of 2 of the chiles. If you do not like your mole spicy then remove seeds from all the chiles. Do NOT toss the water they were soaking in.
Transfer the onion and garlic mixture to a blender. Add the peanut butter, tortillas, cooled sesame and pepitas, oregano, chiles, powdered stock, cloves, 2 cups of the water used to soak the chiles and puree until smooth. Add one more cup and keep processing. Ojo: because of the pepitas and chile seeds it make take a little more water to process the mixture until smooth.
Bring the puree from the blender to the dutch oven or pot where you cooked the onion. Bring the mixture to medium heat and turn down and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chocolate and continue cooking until the chocolate has melted. Taste the mole and season with salt and pepper to your taste. If the sauce is too thick add more of the chile water.
Add the chicken breasts to the mixture and simmer another 5 minutes.
Serve with classic white rice (or yellow rice) and with tortillas.