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Mole Enchiladas

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces- Chicken, thighs, legs and breasts
  • 5 cloves- peeled garlic
  • 1 tsp.- salt
  • 2 cups- cold water
  • 1/4 cup- olive oil
  • 1/2 cup- raisins
  • 3/4 cup- sesame seeds
  • 10- whole almonds
  • 1- medium white onion cut in 1/2 inch slices
  • 1- whole head of garlic
  • 1 tsp.- oregano
  • 1 tsp.- thyme
  • 10- roma tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2- 1 cup- chopped Oaxacan or semisweet chocolate
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick OR 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 25- guajillo chilies
  • 3- ancho chiles
  • sugar to taste
  • soft corn tortillas approx 2 per person

Garnish

  • Chopped parsley leaves
  • White onion finely sliced, rinsed in cold water
  • Fresh Oaxaca or feta cheese crumbled
  • Tender romain lettuce

Method

  1. Rinse and pat dry the chicken pieces. Grind in mortar and pestle garlic and salt, add to large pot and mix with water, add chicken mix well and simmer over medium heat 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from pot the cooking liquid, leave in the chicken and add olive oil turning chicken frequently until evenly browned, 15 -20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, reheat in oven 10 minutes before serving.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil.
  6. Wash, dry the tomatoes and place with broken up head of garlic cloves -unpeeled and the onion slices on the sheet. Roast in the oven 5 minutes, then turn over and roast another 5 minutes or more until the skins blacken and blister on the tomatoes and the onions are soft.
  7. Remove to cool and peel garlic.
  8. Heat skillet to medium heat, add all at once the sesame seeds, stirring constantly until lightly golden.
  9. Remove to a bowl.
  10. Now add to the hot skillet the almonds, stirring constantly until lightly browned.
  11. Remove to a bowl.
  12. Turn off the heat, allow to cool slightly, add the oregano and thyme and quickly give a stir, just long enough to give off their aroma.
  13. Remove from heat.
  14. Cut open, remove seeds and de-vein all the dried chilies – use rubber gloves!
  15. In a bowl pour hot tap water over the dried chilies to cover. Let soften 5 minutes and discard water.

Blender & Process

  1. Work in batches adding some of each group of chilies and toasted seeds, almonds, raisins and herbs plus 1 or more cups of water to make blending smooth and pass through strainer or food mill to bowl.
  2. Giving small sharp jolts to the strainer, shake and tap to aid the flow.
  3. DO NOT throw out what remains from the straining, reserve.
  4. Repeat this process until finished then blend in batches tomatoes, peeled garlic, onion and part of the previously strained remains.
  5. Continue blending and straining, pushing as much possible liquid through strainer with the back of a large spoon.
  6. Finally discard what did not go through strainer.
  7. Heat a large stainless steel or clay pot, add 3 tbsp. of oil left over in the chicken pot
  8. Add all the strained mixture cup by cup stirring the reserved chicken broth to desired consistency.
  9. Add chocolate, stir occasionally
  10. Simmer uncovered at least one hour and taste to adjust for salt, add more sugar if it is too spicy (hot).
  11. Correct the consistency with more water if required.

Final serving preparation

  1. Briefly fry in a little oil the corn tortillas, just to soften
  2. Keep warm in tin foil
  3. Dip one by one the tortillas in the hot enchilada sauce, roll up or fold in quarters – arrange on warmed plate
  4. Pour some more sauce over and garnish with a sprinkling of crumbled cheese, parsley and onion
  5. Add warm chicken pieces and serve with crusty rolls for mopping up the sauce

Traditional Teotitlan del Valle recipe as prepared by Reyna Mendoza of the Casa Sagrada located outside of Oaxaca City, Mexico – Translated by Mary Jane Mendoza.

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