Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Holy Mole!!

Finding a mole recipe we felt capable to try was not an easy task.  The Tonaya recipe book we had used before did not have a mole recipe.  Mom admitted she hasn't cooked traditional mole in a long time.  We decided to look online.  Yeah, I know.  SO many recipes to choose from!  Yikes! Some recipes more traditional-meaning more complex and labor intensive-than others.  It was hard to choose.  We finally made a decision so we could get started.  We opted for one of the simpler versions. 

SO....you know how on our blog headline, you are asked to join us and to learn from our delicious mistakes as we embark on the journey to learn a traditional family recipe every month?  Well, we thank you for taking this ride with us.  
Now, buckle up.

The ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (3lb) chicken, cut into pieces
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I recommend a little less so it doesn't overpower)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5) can dived tomatoes
2 teaspoons brown sugar 
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 semisweet chocolate chip
1/4 cup raisins (we omitted this ingredient)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (to garnish)

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Cook the chicken pieces in the hot oil until golden brown on all sides-about 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and stir in the bay leaf, black pepper cayenne pepper, paprika, cloves, and cinnamon until fragrant-about 30 seconds.  Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent- about 5 minutes.
(Meanwhile we are also cooking white rice with a little bit of butter and a bay leaf in a Pampered Chef Rice Cooker...hey, it works.)

Stir in the tomatoes, brown sugar, and chicken broth, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Once simmering, stir in the chocolate chips until melted, then return the chicken pieces to the pot.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender and no longer pink at the bone-about 15 to 20 minutes.
The recipe then asks to stir in the raisins and cook an additional 3 minutes.  
But we skipped the raisins, feeling the sauce was already sweet enough.

Finally, you sprinkle sesame seeds to serve with white rice and warm corn tortillas.

By the way, we got the recipe here:  

Reflection Notes:
What key ingredient seems to be missing from the recipe above? Chiles, of course! It seems we should have looked for a mole recipe that included chiles.  The sauce could definitely be spicier and would simply benefit from the flavor of chiles.  I also mentioned that the sauce turned out a tad too sweet.  Perhaps we will use less chocolate, or less brown sugar.   
The good news is that mom finally found a mole recipe among her many handwritten recipe notebooks.  You know, I still have recollections of my mom sitting at the table or kitchen counter copying recipes from notes and the recipes of others.  With a pen, on notebooks with lined paper.  Wow, handwriting... remember that?  I joke. :)
Perhaps we should scan her recipes to preserve them.  I can see those notebook pages turning yellow...
...but I digress.

In conclusion, Sonia and Sandy shall try mole again!!  We feel this recipe deserved another try!  There is a plethora of mole recipes out there!!  In fact, we are curious if you have a mole recipe you would like to share.  If so, please include it in the comment box below; we would love to see your yummy versions of mole!
Nos vemos!


  1. This is GREAT! Thanks for adding the reflection notes hehehe! I'll have to try it sometime.
    You guys rock! Thanks Sandy & Sonia

  2. Looks good. I think I'd take you suggestion to add some chilli, maybe use a dark chocolate, too. It would be good to see your mom's original recipe and how they compare.

  3. We're having this tonight. I only put in 1/4 tsp clove and substituted dark chocolate for the semisweet chips. But something still seemed to be missing. I added in 1/8 (or less) tsp of ground cumin and it made a big difference. Just wanted to share. Thanks!

    1. Oh, I forgot, I also only put in 1 tsp of brown sugar, too.