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Green Pumpkinseed Mole with Chicken Breasts     (Mole Verde con Pechugas de Pollo)
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    Green Pumpkinseed Mole with Chicken Breasts (Mole Verde con Pechugas de Pollo)

    For the chicken and broth:

  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 large (about 3 3/4 pounds) chicken breasts, halved
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 scant cup (about 4 ounces) hulled, untoasted pumpkinseeds (pepitas)
  • 12 ounces (about 8 medium) tomatillos, husked and washed OR 1 1/2 13-oz. cans tomatillos, drained
  • Fresh 3 chiles serranos stemmed and seeded
  • 5 large romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 small cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 large sprigs fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 1/8 t cumin seeds (or 1/8 t ground cumin)
  • 6 black peppercorns (or a big pinch ground)
  • 2 cloves (or a pinch ground)
  • 1 1/2 T lard or vegetable oil
  • salt, about 1/2 t
  • For the garnish:
  • A few sprigs of fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 4 radish roses
  • 1. Simmering the chicken.
    Bring 6 cups water and the salt to a boil in a large saucepan with the diced onion. Add the chicken breasts, skim off any grayish foam that rises during the first minute of simmering, partially cover and simmer over medium heat for about 12 minutes, until the breasts are barely done. If there is time, let the chicken cool in the broth. Remove the chicken; strain the broth, then spoon off all the fat that rises to the top.

    2. The pumpkinseeds.
    Heat a medium sized skillet over medium-low for several minutes, then pour in the pumkinseeds in a single layer. When the first one pops, stir them constantly for 4 to 5 minutes, until all have toasted and popped. Cool completely. In batches, pulverize the seeds in a spice grinder (or in a blender fitted with a miniblend container). Sift through a medium-mesh sieve, then stir in 1 cup of the broth.

    3. The vegetables and spices.
    If you have fresh tomatillos, simmer them with the whole chiles in salted water to cover until tender, 10-15 minutes; drain and place in the blender or food processor. Simply drain canned tomatillos and place in the blender or food processor with the raw chiles.
    Tear the lettuce leaves into rough pieces and add to the tomatillos along with the onion, garlic and fresh coriander. Pulverize the spices in a mortar or a spice grinder, add to the blender, then process until smooth.

    4. Frying and simmering the sauce.
    Heat the lard or oil in a large saucepan over medium. When hot, add the pumpkinseed-broth mixture and stir constantly as it thickens and darkens, 4-5 minutes. Add the vegetable puree and stir a few minutes longer, until very thick.
    Stir in 2 cups of the chicken broth, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. For a smooth sauce, scrape into a blender jar, cover loosely and blend until smooth, then return to the saucepan. Season with salt and, if necessary, thin to a light consistency with a little broth.

    5. Finishing the dish.
    Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering sauce. When heated through, remove the breasts to a warm serving platter, spoon the sauce over them.
    Yield: 4 servings, with about three cups of sauce

    From: Graeme Caselton
    Posted By:BSc(Open)
    Post Date: Sat, 1 Jun 1996

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