Thursday, March 24, 2011

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Mole Rojo con Pollo

Mole Rojo con Pollo Rich red mole with chicken is the English translation of this dish from Rick Bayless' Authentic Mexican Cookbook. This was yet another time consuming recipe. This time I started really early so not to chance eating at 9:00 at night again. I got the mole sauce done by around 3:00. All that was left to do was cook the chicken in the sauce for 25 minutes and it was done. Making the sauce did take several hours though. In case you aren't familiar with mole, it is a Mexican sauce containing chocolate and chiles. The most common brands of Mexican chocolate are Nestle Abuelita and the more traditional, Ibarra. I had some Ibarra in my cupboard though I've had it for a while and wasn't sure if it was still good. I didn't see an expiration date on it so I decided to use it. It didn't smell bad and I didn't get sick so it must be ok right? The chocolate comes in round disks which have indents that make 8 wedges like a pie. Each disk is individually wrapped so they probably last a long time that way.

There are a total of 25 ingredients in this recipe. I made a few substitutions and omissions. Three different peppers were recommended but there was an alternate version of the sauce that only uses one type of chile, the easy to find ancho, and is what I ended up making. I was not very successful in finding mulatos and pasillas. I checked out Mazatlan, one of the other Mexican stores in downtown Monroe, today and they seemed to have a bigger selection of dried chiles, I saw some pasillas there but don't remember seeing mulatos. I even found the chiles I was looking for to make adobo for next weekend's recipe. I used craisins instead of raisins just because I always have those on hand and didn't want to buy raisins. The plantain was optional so I omitted that thinking it would be hard to find but I saw some of those at the Mexican store today too.

The recipes in this cookbook seem to refer to other recipes quite often. They don't just refer to various sauces but actual steps within the recipe. Like if there are two mole recipes it will refer back to a previous mole recipe and says to follow steps 6-8 on page 243 for example. I find myself flipping through pages a lot and makes things more confusing. What is even more confusing is when an ingredient is mentioned in the instructions that isn't even listed in the ingredient list. This recipe called for peanuts but in the description they are referred to as almonds. In the recipe that is referred to, almonds were used. In my state of confusion I ended up forgetting all about the peanuts and ended up not using them. By the time I realized the recipe probably meant peanuts and not almonds it was too late to add them in. Other than that the recipe was followed pretty closely.

This is my 2nd or 3rd time quartering a whole chicken. It's really not too difficult though it would be a little easier if I had the proper knife for it. I really hate using my Shun knives for that. I need to get a butcher knife or something. Whole chickens are a lot less expensive than buying them already quartered so watch some youtube videos and do it yourself and save some money.

The mole sauced turned out a little more runny than I would like even though I simmered it longer than suggested to try and thicken it up more. The flavor was good though and I had a lot left over so I put it in a zip lock bag and have been using it on leftovers. Tonight I cut up some chicken and cooked it in the mole sauce and made chicken mole tacos. Don't think I've ever had those before but they were good.

Quartered Chicken
Ingredients
Mole Sauce
Chicken Mole

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