Wow, I have so much that I want to say about this dish.... I have been wanting to try a mole for quite some time, and when I saw it in Cook's Illustrated, I knew had my recipe. I made it last week when my best friend and her husband came over for dinner. They come over every Wednesday night to watch Top Chef, and I usually try and make something fun for dinner. This was certainly.... interesting. Mole sauce has a very distinct flavor, which is not surprising, considering that it contains pretty much everything in your pantry. But while the ingredient list is long, you probably keep most of this stuff on hand.
I was a little nervous when I put the chicken in the oven to bake. I tasted the sauce, and it was very heavy on the peanut butter. But once it cooked some more, the peanut butter flavor was much more subtle, and you were left with lots of heat. And I really mean a lot. I am pretty much a spice wuss, but even Joey thought it was spicy....in a good way. I added a little sour cream to mine to mellow it out a bit. Who would have that that one pepper could be so spicy? I think we all enjoyed it though; Joey and Chip even split the last piece of chicken.
adapted from Cook's Illustrated
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 Tablespoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (I just minced 1 chile)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 ounce bittersweet, semisweet, or Mexican chocolate, chopped coarse
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped medium
- 2 Tablespoons raisins
- 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted, plus more for garnish
- Salt and pepper
- 2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened, 3-5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low, and stir in the chili powder, chile, cinnamon, cloves, and chocolate. Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted and bubbly, about 1 minute. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth, tomato, raisins, peanut butter, and sesame seeds. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer the sauce to a blender and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.
Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in an 8-inch baking dish, and pour the pureed sauce over the top, turning chicken to coat.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Flip the chicken and continue to bake until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion reads 160-165, about 15-20 more minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven and tent loosely with foil. Allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes. Serve atop rice, with extra sauce and sesame seeds.