OAXACAN STYLE MOLE
This recipe is by Nora Gutierrez of the La Casa de Mis Recuerdos, which she demonstrated during our Culinary Tour to Oaxaca, Mexico, March, 2003. Estofado is one of the famous moles from Oaxaca. It is a home-style mole served with Mexican rice, hot corn tortillas, and jalapenos escabeche (pickled).
For the Chicken:
One 4 pound chicken, cut for frying into 10 pieces (no innards)*
2 quarts chicken stock or water to cover with onion, carrot, garlic and salt added
Splash jalapeno pickle juice
- Place chicken pieces in stock pot, add bouillon or water with the carrot, onion, etc. Liquid should cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until tender, about 35 to 45 minutes.
For the Sauce:
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 pound tomatillos
4 to 6 tomatoes, to equal 1 pound
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup white sesame seeds
1 cup graham or zwieback cracker crumbs
1/2 very ripe plantain (banana family)
2 to 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
2 one-inch pieces canella (cinnamon)
12 large capers
3 green olives per person
1/4 cup parsley
Salt to taste
1. Boil the almonds in 1½ cups water and boil the tomatillos in 1½ cups water.
- Parch the unpeeled tomatoes and onion on a comal or griddle until browned all over. Toward end of browning, add garlic. When done and slightly cooled, peel each and coarsely chop.
- Add the oil to a large skillet, then add the raisins and sauté until they puff up. Place in a bowl. Add the sesame seeds and cook them until they brown lightly. Add a teaspoon of salt as they are browning. When they are toasted, add the plantain sliced into ½ inch slices. Continue to cook until lightly browned. Then add the crackers and toast.
- Place a portion of each ingredient (reserving the spices, chocolate and olives) in the blender jar. Make sure to have some of the more moist items, such as the tomato, with each batch and blend all the ingredients together, creating a smooth paste.
- When all is blended, strain through a fine sieve and place in a large pot. Add 2 ½ cups chicken stock a little at a time until a sauce the consistency of thick soup is developed. Add the seasoning and olives, tasting to adjust seasonings.
- Add the chocolate, broken into pieces, and whole parsley sprigs and cook to melt chocolate. Taste and determine if more chocolate is desired. Add chicken and cook together for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the sauce has flavored the chicken. Serve with fluffy rice.
*Option: Cook chicken whole, then peel and debone, leaving large pieces. Then add to the sauce as above.