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Pollo en Mole
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    Pollo en Mole

    INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large roasting hen
  • 3 onions
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 cubes tomato broth concentrate (Knorr Caldo de Tomate)
  • 2/3 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 4 roma tomatoes, or 3 ordinary tomatoes
  • 3 chiles ancho
  • 4 chiles guajillos
  • 4 chiles negros
  • 4 chiles pasillas
  • 5-15 chiles de arbol (these control the hotness)
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 stale tortilla
  • 2 slices stale bread
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 circles Mexican chocolate (Lupe uses Abuelita brand)
  • Wash the chicken, remove the skin, and separate it into serving-sized pieces. Put the chicken in a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Put one onion and half the head of garlic in the pot with the chicken. [Lupe just peeled the onion and put it in whole. She didn't peel the garlic. I think I'd cut the onion into chunks.] Drop the broth concentrate into the water, then put the pot over high heat. When the stock boils, lift off the scum that rises and discard it. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and allow the chicken to cook for about 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a small skillet brown the sesame seeds (without oil) over medium high heat. The seeds will pop and make a minor mess; most will stay in the pan. Transfer the seeds to a blender or food processor (or, as Lupe's mother does, crush them on a stone metate). Pour the oil into the pan and allow it to get hot. Wash the chiles and separate the stems. Dry them (well!) and fry each briefly in the oil (this will be a little dangerous, as the moist chiles will splatter a lot). Transfer each chile to the blender jar or food processor; if they don't fit, just reserve them in a bowl. The seeds should be left in the chiles. [I might remove some seeds and toast them separately iin a dry skillet, then grind them up.] Fry the tomatoes in the oil until the skins blacken a little, then transfer them to the blender.

    Lift the chicken from the stock and set aside. Strain the stock, and add enough to the blender to enable blending of the chiles, tomatoes, and sesame. Blend all together well, then press the blended product through a sieve. You'll probably have to do this in batches. Discard the seeds and skins that remain behind in the sieve. Transfer the smooth blended chiles to a large pot.

    In the skillet, sautee in succession the nuts and seeds, 2 onions [which Lupe didn't chop up; this was a little odd], the remaining garlic (peeled), the two bananas (sliced in half lengthwise but not peeled [!!!]), the raisins, the tortilla, and the bread. The onions and garlic should be lightly browned, as should the nuts. The bananas should be allowed to get soft and translucent (sort-of). The raisins should be allowed to plump and brown slightly; it should take only about a minute. The tortilla and bread should be well browned. Transfer all these ingredients to the blender, along with the herbs and spices. [I think I'd toast and grind the cloves, cumin, and cinnamon separately.] Purree until smooth with some stock, then add to the purreed chiles. Add stock as desired; Lupe added almost all the stock from the first chicken-cooking step through the various blendings.

    Put the sauce over medium-high heat, drop in the chocolate, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the chicken, and let the mixture simmer for about 45 minutes. Serve with rice. Yum.

    NOTES: You will end up with a lot of sauce. Use it for all sorts of stuff. You may find the sauce bitter, depending on the condition of the peppers. A little sugar (be careful!) can balance the taste. A little vinegar, similarly, can be used to intensify the flavor, which can be a little "flat" (though quite rich). Keep in mind (as I'm sure all you chile heads will :-) that those dried peppers (except the anchos, which are pretty reliable) can vary in hotness. You may end up with something more or less hot than you anticipated. That makes it more fun, I guess.

    **I've burned up a blender doing this. Use a big one (I've got a VitaMix, which could probably purree a cow; the one I fried was my parents') or a good food processor, or else be careful to process in small batches.

    From: Garry Howard Cambridge, MA
    Posted By: Garry Howard

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