Recipe of the Week: A quick chicken mole that will impress your guests


Jenn De La Vega, author of “Showdown Comfort Food, Chili & BBQ: Bold Flavors from Wild Cooking Contests” (Page Street Publishing, $22.99), has written a whole cookbook of competition-worthy dishes, and I wanted to share her technique for making pulled chicken mole.

Traditional mole takes hours to make, but this version comes together quickly. De La Vega packs a ton of flavor into the sauce with nut butter, tahni, a chipotle pepper, dates and chocolate. That might sound weird if you’ve never had mole, but give it a try. Feel free to double this recipe if you’re feeding a crowd.

Pulled Chicken Mole

4 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts

3 cups chicken stock

2 dried ancho chilies

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup chunky nut butter

1/4 cup dates

2 tablespoons tahini

3 medium shallots, minced

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

2 1/2 tablespoons dark chocolate, chopped

Salt and pepper

Tortillas or slider buns, for serving

Place the chicken in a pot and cover with the stock; bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until the meat is tender and has an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Drain and save the stock; set the chicken aside.

Using about 1 cup of the reserved stock, reconstitute the dried chili peppers in the pot. (You’ll have to reheat the stock if it has cooled.) Carefully fish them out with tongs when they are soft. Remove the stems and place in the bowl of a food processor with the chipotle, cinnamon, clove, nut butter, dates and tahini. Pulse until the larger pieces are broken and blend on low until it forms a smooth paste.

In a large pan, sauté the shallots in vegetable oil until they soften for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more before adding the tomatoes. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and add the spiced paste from the food processor.

Cook for 15 minutes on medium, until the liquid cooks off. Strain 1 cup of the chicken stock cooking liquid into the sauce and stir. Just like risotto, as the liquid cooks off, add another cup of the chicken broth, until you have one left. At that point, take it off the heat and stir in the chocolate. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

As the sauce cooks, cool the chicken and debone it. Pull the chicken apart, making sure no pieces are bigger than the width of your thumb.

Fold the meat into the sauce and serve immediately, or if you’re not eating just yet, add the last of the broth and cover. Keep warm in the oven at 200 degrees until you’re ready to eat.

If you’re eating later, cool the mixture down and store in the fridge overnight. An hour before serving, add the remaining chicken broth before heating it back up. Serve with tortillas or slider buns. Serves 4 to 8.

— From “Showdown Comfort Food, Chili & BBQ: Bold Flavors from Wild Cooking Contests” by Jenn De La Vega (Page Street Publishing, $22.99)



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360 Eats

This week’s music picks: Haley Heynderickx, Night Glitter EP release
This week’s music picks: Haley Heynderickx, Night Glitter EP release

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyvYIYwLzTw&w=492&h=307] Tuesday: Haley Heynderickx at Cactus Cafe. Portland, Ore., has consistently produced noteworthy indie acts for some time now, and Heynderickx (don’t try to spell it without a program) is the latest from the Rose City to attract nationwide attention. Her full-length...
The man who turned underdog grapes into Virginia's star wines
The man who turned underdog grapes into Virginia's star wines

Virginia's wine community is celebrating the life and achievements of one of its giants, Dennis Horton, the maverick vintner who defied conventional wisdom by planting grapes few people had heard of and in so doing convinced many skeptical oenophiles that Virginia could make great wine. Horton died June 19 at his home in Madison, Virginia. He had been...
'Fixer Upper' stars Chip and Joanna Gaines welcome baby boy, reveal his name
'Fixer Upper' stars Chip and Joanna Gaines welcome baby boy, reveal his name

The latest addition to Chip and Joanna Gaines' family has arrived. The "Fixer Upper" stars took to social media Saturday to announce the birth of their fifth child, sharing a photo of the baby boy and revealing his name. "Our baby boy, Crew Gaines, is here and we couldn’t be more in love," Joanna wrote Saturday night...
World's Ugliest Dog Contest: Zsa Zsa the English bulldog slurps up 2018 title
World's Ugliest Dog Contest: Zsa Zsa the English bulldog slurps up 2018 title

An English bulldog has fetched the crown in the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, California. According to The Associated Press, Zsa Zsa, a 9-year-old pooch from Anoka, Minnesota, won the pageant Saturday, beating out more than a dozen less-than-pretty pups for the $1,500 grand prize. According to the event's website, Zsa Zsa "...
Summer TV: ‘Sharp Objects,’ ‘Yellowstone’ and other shows worth a look
Summer TV: ‘Sharp Objects,’ ‘Yellowstone’ and other shows worth a look

What to read, where to go, what to watch: Summer can be rather bossy, culturewise, but it’s still mostly a no-pressure proposition where TV is concerned — especially since “Game of Thrones” isn’t expected back until next year. Aside from a few big-ticket temptations like HBO’s “Sharp Objects” (premiering...
More Stories