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Author Notes: I wanted a well-seasoned spatchcocked and roasted chicken, utilizing south-of-the border flavors and playing off sweet, salty, hot and fruity--and bitter, a flavor component of both coffee and chile. I make no claims to authenticity; I only admit to caffeine addiction. —creamtea
For the "Mole"
- 2 Guajillo chilies
- 1 Pasilla Negro chili
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon whole caraway seeds
- 2 fat cloves of fresh garlic, minced and mashed with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- juice and grated zest of one orange
- 1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar "with the mother". This is more flavorful than your basic dead, distilled vinegar.
- 2-3 tablespoons honey (I use a thick, raw honey)
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- additional salt to taste
For the chicken:
- 1 whole 3-1/2 lb. chicken, backbone removed and the breastbone flattened (i.e. spatchcocked)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 375º
- 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).
- 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 depending on your oven.
- Serve it forth, accompanied by seasoned rice.
- 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. 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 boiling vegetables or plain water (if serving over noodles) and 1 teaspoon soy sauce; simmer until reduced and thickened. Serve with 1) tortillas, diced tomato and cucumber, mashed avocado and diced white onion or 2) over hot noodes.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Chicken
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe Made with Coffee
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Now and Later
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Weeknight Roast