Classic Mexican mole is a richly flavoured sauce made with chocolate and three types of chillies, among other ingredients. It is recommended that you serve this with smoked chicken maryland pieces, and we have included a recipe here.
- 6 dried pasilla chillies
- 10 dried ancho chillies
- 8 dried guajillo chillies
- 2 litres boiling water
- 2 cups raisins
- 2 cup almonds, unskinned
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) peanut oil
- 3 triangles Mexican Ibarra chocolate
- 5 tomatoes
- 6 tomatillos (see note)
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 corn tortillas, cut into 1 cm strips
- 7 garlic cloves, roasted, peeled
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 4 whole cloves, ground
- 6 juniper berries, ground
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- roasted sesame or pepita seeds, for garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 20 minutes
Deseed the dried chillies, then toast on a flat-top griddle or in a dry saute pan for about 20 seconds or until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the chillies or they will become bitter. Place the chillies in a bowl and add the boiling water to rehydrate. Cover the bowl andstand for about 20 minutes. Strain chillies and reserve the liquid.
Meanwhile, put the raisins in enough warm water to cover. Soak for about 20 minutes or until soft.
In a frying pan over a medium-low heat, saute the almonds in 1 tbsp of the peanut oil until browned.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, and set aside.
Place the tomatoes and tomatillos under a grill, turning, for about 5 minutes or until skins are evenly blackened. The skins should be charred, but do not "cook" the fruit.
Dry-roast the pumpkin seeds in a saute pan for about 5 minutes or until they finish popping. Do not let them burn.
Puree the tomatillos, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, almonds, tortilla strips, rehydrated chillies, raisins, garlic, the water, spices, salt and melted chocolate in a blender . (You will probably have to do this in batches.) For extra flavour, use the water from the rehydrated chillies, if it is not bitter. Strain the puree by pushing through a sieve. Discard the solids.
Heat the remaining peanut oil in a high-sided pan over medium-high heat, until almost smoking. Reduce heat to medium and add the sauce. Fry, stirring constantly, for 10-15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes-1 hour. Do not allow the sauce to get too thick; add more water if necessary. Again, you can use the water from the rehydrated chillies if it is not bitter.
Serve this sauce over chicken breast, turkey or any other deep-flavoured dish. Serve warm, not hot, and sprinkle roasted sesame or pepita seeds on top for garnish.
Makes 5 cups
• Tomatillos are small green Mexican tomatoes - fresh is best but tinned will do.
• This sauce will freeze well for up to 2 weeks.
• Victor recommends serving this sauce with smoked chicken maryland pieces: soak perfumed wood chips (hickory or mesquite) in water for 30 minutes, while barbecue beads are turning white. Place soaked chips onto ash coals. Place chicken pieces on barbecue grill, opposite the smoking coals and wood. To allow smoking process to work, open vents on the lid and base of barbecue. The chicken will take approximately 20-25 minutes, or to taste (should be tender, not overdone).