Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chicken Molé

We Minxes tend to eat dinner the way god intended - at the dining room table, with cloth napkins and real utensils. Very occasionally, however, we'll eat off of paper plates while glued to the basement television. Those occasions would be football games starting at 4:05pm and the Superbowl. If we're going to be paying more attention to the TV than the food, I think finger foods that can be prepped in advance are easiest to deal with. Bonus points if the items can be fully cooked during halftime! Usually, this means a pizza or nachos.

Nachos seem easy, but I tend to make a production out of it. If I'm lucky, I have leftovers that I can throw together, but even then I have to make a variety of salsas. Sure, I know I can buy salsa, but I really enjoy making them out of whatever I have on hand. For the most recent nacho feast, I made a salsa with canned tomatoes seasoned with scallions and smoked salt, a corn salsa, and one with fresh raw cranberries, honey, and lime juice.

I didn't have any leftover protein this time, so I poached several skinless, bone-in chicken thighs in chicken stock. I also made a kind of molé sauce to flavor the meat.

Molés are rather complicated sauces involving many types of chiles, nuts, and spices. I used what I had on hand and made a rather nice, mild, and non-sweet sauce that worked really well on the relatively bland chicken.

Fauxlé Sauce

1/2 cup chopped onion
olive oil
pinch salt
1 15oz can chopped fire roasted tomatoes
1 mulato chile, soaked in hot water until softened, destemmed, chopped coarsely
1 canned chipotle in adobo
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup blanched almonds, toasted and ground finely
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons chocolate chips
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup

Over medium heat, cook the onion in the oil with a pinch of salt until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, chiles, and garlic and simmer for about five minutes. Stir in the remainder of the ingredients and cook over medium-low heat for another 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Puree in a food processor or blender. Strain.

Makes one pint.

To use with protein: toss a few tablespoons with protein of your choice in a sauté pan; heat until warmed through. Or heat sauce and meat separately. :)

Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.

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