Mole sauce? What to do with it?
- mschow Jul 18, 2008 03:58 PM
I stopped today at a grocery store that caters to the Hispanic community for some good produce (which they have, and it is much cheaper than my regular Acme). I also picked up a pint of prepared Mole sauce. I love chicken mole, but I'm not sure what to do with this sauce. Do I just pour it over the chicken and bake? The only directions say to add chicken broth or bouillon to it, but there are no amounts listed. I also purchased some fresh flour tortillas, chipotle chilies in adobo, and queso fresco. I do love chicken enchiladas with mole sauce, but again, what do I do to the mole sauce? It seems pretty thick.
I have only one recipe that I make with mole, and I make my own.
I wouldn't just pour it over and bake it, although it may turn out great.
My recipe calls for chicken thighs, and that works really well. I am guessing that a mole is a peasant dish, sort of like cacciatore is for Italians. My recipe for mole says to brown the chicken thighs in oil on both sides. Then you place the chicken in a baking dish and pour the mole over the top and bake for about 45 minutes. When I make my mole recipe, there is enough sauce to cover the chicken thighs and bake it at 350.
I don't know about the enchaladas with mole sauce though, but it sounds good to me.
Agree with mcel215 that you should cook the chicken first. My (Mexican) husband generally boils the chicken first using generally a mix of legs and thighs. In a separate large saute pan, he'll make the mole. When he uses prepared mole, he just adds stock to the consistency desired, so in your case I'd just add it slowly until it comes up to the consistency you remember and enjoy. Then, let it simmer for a few minutes. Then, he'll place the chicken into the now hot prepared mole and cook it down for a few minutes, and then simply serve with warm tortillas.
If you want to make enchiladas, once you take the chicken out of the hot water, let it cool for a few minutes. Then you can cut or rip it up for the enchiladas. You can add some chicken to the mole, and then just roll some into the tortillas and pour sauce over it (which in Mexico City are usually made with corn tortillas, though it may be with flour in the north), tossing on a bit of queso fresco at the end. Or, alternatively and quite common in Mexico, is to wrap some of the chicken directly into the tortilla, and then pour a generous portion of mole over them.
The prepared mole in the jar is a concentrated paste with spices in oil. After experimenting with this a few times, what I usually do (and which may not be authentic), is to saute the chicken in a skillet and then add a couple of tablespoons of the mole paste and saute it in the oil, and then add chicken stock until it's the right consistency.
You say it's pretty thick? Is it mole paste? I think it may be since the directions tell you to add broth.
Ok, I normally take a few heaping spoonfuls of the mole paste, and toss it in a sauce pan with an amount of chicken broth close to the total volume of sauce you will want to end up with. Heat it up slowly, and whisk it to mix the paste into the broth. Add more paste to get it to "mole consistency." I have yet to find a prepared mole that doesn't need doctoring up, and I usually start with a little extra chile, chocolate (depending on what style mole it is,) and a touch of sesame oil, but, of course, your tastes might differ. My normal easy prep for a mole dinner:
Grilled or smoked chicken, rice or mashed potatoes, and grilled mushrooms.
Cover the plate with mole, center a mound or rice or potatoes, cover the starch with sliced chicken, or a portion of the chicken if smoked whole, and then scatter grilled mushrooms around. guac, or avocado slices, and warm tortillas.
Smoked pork, grilled steak, duck breast, grilled fish - same deal.
After tiring from chicken salad in a dozen forms, I sometimes blend half of an 8.25 oz. jar of Dona Maria mole sauce with a cup of chicken stock, sautee a chopped vidalia onion and 1-2 minced jalapenos, pick and shred a rotisserie chicken, mix it all and serve on hamburger buns. It's my poultry version of a sloppy Joe, a sloppy Jose.