I wanted a richly-seasoned spicy roasted chicken, utilizing dried chiles and coffee. The surprise was in how the bittersweet notes underlying coffee and chiles lift the fruit and spice notes. This chicken has become the favorite of family and friends. The recipe makes extra sauce: remove a quantity for the marinade or basting sauce and freeze the rest in cubes, then transfer them to a ziplock bag to use for next time. Note: cooking times will vary depending on method. —creamtea
1 hour 20 minutes
For the Sauce
Pasilla Negro chile
whole coriander seeds
whole caraway seeds
fat cloves of fresh garlic, minced and mashed with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
juice and grated zest of one orange
freshly brewed coffee
organic apple cider vinegar "with the mother".
honey (I use a thick, raw honey)
additional salt to taste
For the chicken:
whole 3-1/2 lb. chicken, backbone removed and the breastbone flattened (i.e. spatchcocked). If grilling, 1 chicken, cut in 8ths
Pre-heat oven to 375º
bring chicken to room temperature; pat dry with paper towel. Prepare grill, banking coals to one side to allow for indirect heat Oil rack to prevent sticking.
For both grilling and roasting:
In a heavy cast iron pan, toast the dried peppers briefly over medium heat on each side. With kitchen shears and wearing rubber gloves, clip the tops of the peppers (the stem end), and shake out the loose seeds. Discard seeds. Place peppers in a small heatproof bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to soften for about 30-45 minutes.
When peppers are soft, wearing rubber gloves, remove from liquid (reserve a little for the blending process, below) to a cutting board. Slit peppers on one side with a sharp knife, remove remaining seeds and lift out ribs (unless you like it hotter than I do). Chop coarsely.
Lightly toast coriander and caraway seeds in a dry pan over a low flame (I toast in a long-handled stainless steel measuring cup held 4 inches over a low flame) and place in a spice grinder or small food processor (or mortar). Whir or pound until ground; if using a spice grinder, transfer to food processor; add peppers, a tablespoon or so of soaking liquid, and remaining mole ingredients and whiz until pureed; it will be a coarse puree. Taste and adjust for seasoning. (makes 1 scant cup).
Salt and pepper chicken inside and out and pour mole over. There will be a little extra if you wish to add chicken parts or wings. Marinate at least one hour if you have the time available. Otherwise, continue, it will still be good! Place in roasting pan. Pour about 1/2 inch or so of water into bottom of pan to avoid burning (replenish as necessary). Discard used marinade.
Roast in oven, reducing heat after 1/2 hour to 350º, until cooked through and instant-read thermometer registers 165º-170 and juices run clear when the breast is pricked with a skewer, about 45-50 minutes more depending on your oven.
Have handy enough coffee-chile sauce for basting.
Place parts bone-side down on oiled grill rack (on side away from coals)-- with dark meat closer and light meat further from coals. Cover with grill lid and cook approximately 20 minutes. Flip pieces over and cook, covered, for about 15-20 minutes more. Stir the sauce and baste chicken parts with brush. You may move parts over coals to finish cooking, turning and basting with sauce (the solids will have settled to the bottom of the sauce; spoon the spices and ground peppers up, draining briefly, to spread over the skin). When internal temperature of breast meat reaches 160º, (170º for thighs), remove from grill to a platter and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Discard basting sauce.
What to do with leftovers:
Remove top and bottom of one red bell pepper, and cut into strips.
Slice one white or yellow onion.
mash 2-3 fat cloves of garlic with a pinch of salt.
Heat oil (olive, safflower, avocado or other oil) in a large, heavy sauté pan; add pepper strips and onion. When they soften slightly, add to the oil. Add garlic, minced. Remove chicken from the bone (three to four pieces will serve 3-4 people. When pepper an onions are soft and browning slightly, add the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste. Toss to warm; add 1 cup of chicken broth , water from boiled vegetables or plain water and 1 teaspoon soy sauce; simmer until reduced and thickened. Serve with 1) tortillas, diced tomato and cucumber, mashed avocado and diced white onion.