Thursday, 20 February 2014

Mexican Chicken Mole Recipe

This is a delicious, slightly spicy, warming dish for this cold, dreary weather. It has the fabulous combination of my two favourite things: chilli and chocolate! The recipe is taken from an old BBC Good Food Magazine (the issue on which I assisted Carol Tennant with the food styling, and I still remember how good it tasted back then). The original recipe can be found on the BBC Good Food website, and as ever I have made some adaptations to suit myself.

Serves: 6
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs

mexican food
Mexican Chicken Mole


2 ancho chillies or large red chilli peppers
2 tsp hot smoked paprika (if using chilli peppers)
2 tbsp chipotle paste (plus one extra tbsp if using chilli peppers)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
8 chicken thighs, skinless
2 onions, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp cinnamon
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
50g raisins
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
400g can chopped tomatoes
25g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
1 small red onion, sliced
juice 1 lime, plus wedges to serve (optional)
150ml pot soured cream

For the coriander rice
600g rice
large bunch coriander, finely chopped
zest 2 limes and juice of 1


1. If you can't get ancho chillies, halve the red chilli peppers and grill them until the skins start to go black. Allow to cool and then peel the skin off and mix with the extra 1 tbsp chipotle paste and hot smoked paprika. Then whizz as described in step 2. Otherwise, put the ancho chillies in a bowl and add enough boiling water to cover. Leave to soften for 20 mins. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a casserole dish, season the chicken, then brown on all sides. Do this in batches. Remove the chicken to a plate. Add the onions to the dish and cook for 5 mins until softened. Add the spices and cook for 1 min until aromatic.

2. Remove the chillies from their soaking liquid, reserve the liquid, and discard the stalks and seeds. Put in a food processor with 4 tbsp of the soaking liquid, the garlic and raisins. Whizz to a paste, then tip into the dish. Add the peanut butter, chipotle paste, tomatoes and 400ml water. Return the chicken to the dish and season. Cover with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hr.

3. Add the chocolate and continue cooking, uncovered, for 30 mins more. If the sauce looks like it’s getting a little too thick, add some of the chilli soaking liquid or some water.

4. Cook the rice. Meanwhile, put the red onion in a small bowl. Add the lime juice and a pinch of salt. Leave to pickle until ready to serve. When the rice is cooked, add the coriander and lime zest and juice, and fluff up with a fork. Remove the mole from the heat, scatter with the pickled red onion and serve alongside the rice, with soured cream and lime wedges.

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