Monday, January 12, 2009

Chicken mole

Chicken mole

Ingredients (serves 6)
* 2 onions
* 4 garlic cloves, crushed
* 1 large (size 16) corn-fed chicken, jointed into 8-10 pieces
* 2 sprigs coriander (including roots), plus extra leaves, chopped, to garnish
* 2 dried red chillies
* 410g canned chopped tomatoes
* 4 tbs (1/3 cup) toasted sesame seeds, plus extra to garnish
* 1 tsp smoked paprika (pimenton - see notes)
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp ground cloves
* 1/2 tsp ground allspice
* 2 pieces day-old bread, crusts discarded, chopped
* 2 tbs olive oil
* 1 bay leaf
* 25g Mexican chocolate (see notes)
* Steamed rice, to serve

1. Roughly chop 1 onion and place in a casserole dish with the garlic, chicken pieces and coriander, then add enough water to cover chicken. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and skim any scum from surface. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Remove the chicken and set aside. Strain poaching liquid, discarding solids and reserving liquid.
3. Remove 1/2 cup (125ml) of the cooking liquid and pour it over the dried chillies. Allow to soak for 30 minutes, then place the tomatoes, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin, cloves, allspice, bread, chillies and their soaking liquid in a blender and process until smooth.
4. Finely chop the remaining onion. Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook onion for 1-2 minutes over low heat until softened, then add the blended spice mixture and bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the chocolate and chicken. Add enough of the reserved poaching liquid to just cover chicken, and simmer, uncovered, for a further 25 minutes.
5. Remove the chicken, cover loosely with foil to keep warm, then reduce the sauce until it is thick enough to be a coating consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Coat the chicken in the sauce, and garnish with the extra sesame seeds and chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice.

Notes & tips

* Smoked paprika is from gourmet food stores.
* Mexican chocolate has a distinctive flavour that adds authenticity to this dish; from selected gourmet food stores. Substitute with dark, bitter chocolate.
Recipe by Valli Little


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