Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chicken Mole Enchiladas

Today's recipe goes hand in hand with my appearance on Savour the Flavour (link here: Of course as the video concluded I realized one thing: I forgot to mention the blog address. Whoops. Well, if you're reading this you've already found me. Did you come here because of Savour the Flavour or do you already follow this blog? Let me know in the comments.

What is chicken mole? Well, the thing to understand about mole is that the word is something of a catch-all word for sauce. However in the U.S. it is commonly understood that it very often refers to a type of sauce featuring chocolate and spices called mole sauce, or mole poblano. The dish originates in Mexico, although there is some debate as to whether it comes from the state of Puebla, Oaxaca or Tlaxcala. In restaurants it is served over chicken enchiladas: shredded roasted chicken and soft mild cheese rolled in soft corn tortillas. They are served with a generous amount of mole sauce and a drizzle of mild, loose Mexican sour cream called crema, as well as sprinkled with

[record scratch] Wait a minute, I can hear my dear readers thinking in their heads. Did she just say chicken and chocolate? I sure did. You're probably wondering how they go together. Well, the amazing thing about mole poblano is the depth of flavor imparted by its many ingredients. Smoky adobo, redolent with spice and personality is a subtle compliment to the rich, bittersweet chocolate. The chocolate flavor pairs incredibly well with mild corn tortilla and the richness of the sauce, enhanced by a nut paste, goes surprisingly well with chicken and chicken fat. It's got a lot of ingredients, but don't be intimidated. It's easier than you'd think and so worth it.

Mole Enchiladas

1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup blanched almonds
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 clove star anise
1 cinnamon stick
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 disk Mexican chocolate
2 roasted habanero, seeds and ribs removed
2 Tablespoons adobo paste
5 spice cloves, heads only
2 Tablespoons powdered baking chocolate
[Up to] 4 cups chicken stock
1 onion, roughly chopped
[Up to] 1/4 cup coconut oil or lard
4 tomatillos, roasted
Salt, to taste
4 cloves roasted garlic

Toppings & Garnishes:
Queso Blanco
Minced Cilantro

For enchilada assembly:

2 lbs shredded chicken
8 ounces fresh mozarella, chopped into small bits
1 package soft corn tortillas

1. Add oil or lard to cover the bottom of a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and salt to taste and cook without stirring for up to 4 minutes. Stir and then leave for another four minutes. When they are just browned, remove from heat and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, add oil or lard to cover the bottom of a small saucepan heated to low-medium and toast nuts, sesame, cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise for 1.5 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Set cinnamon stick aside and pulse nuts, sesame and spices in the blender, 3 pulses about 5 seconds each.
4. Add tomatillos, habaneros, adobo paste, 2 cups chicken stock, onions, garlic. Pulse in blender 5 times at 5 seconds each.
5. Strain contents of blender through sieve and reintroduce to larger saucepan. Add cinnamon stick back in and bring to a lazy simmer. Thin with remaining chicken stock until sauce reaches the desired consistency.
6. While sauce simmers over the lowest heat setting, preheat the oven to 325 degrees and in a baking dish assemble chicken enchiladas: pile a generous amount of chicken and chopped mozzarella in a line down the center of a corn tortilla in a 3:1 ratio (chicken to cheese); roll tortilla up and place in baking dish. Continue rolling tortillas up with chicken and cheese and placing into the baking dish until the dish is filled with rolled up tortillas, fitting snugly inside. Bake until cheese is melted (about 7 to 10 minutes).
6. Remove sauce from heat, fish out and discard cinnamon stick and add chocolate in all forms, stirring to melt and incorporate.
7. Remove enchiladas from oven and pour desired amount of sauce over them.
8. Serve enchiladas drizzled with crema and sprinkled with cilantro and crumbled queso blanco.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I welcome your feedback!

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