“Moles” or sauces are part of the culinary tradition in Mexico. Each region has a variety of different moles to accompany vegetable, fish or poultry and meat dishes. Oaxaca for example is known for its 7 distinct moles. In Mexico you can buy different home-made moles in markets, in paste or even in powder to which you usually add water, vegetable or chicken stock. I have enjoyed exploring, trying and buying all kinds of moles in markets and have used them in a number of dishes. It is also nice to learn to make your own.
The origin of this mole goes back to Pre-Hispanic times when the Aztecs used a pumpkin seed and chilies based sauce to accompany fish and game. It was enriched by the nuns in the convents, after the arrival of the Spaniards, who added to it aromatic herbs, different spices, pork and chicken. Depending on the region, you can find in Mexico red, green and white pipian sauce.
This particular recipe is made with red pipian sauce and was adapted from a recipe of the Mexican Chef, Monica Patino.
- 4 chicken breasts
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 red dry chile anchos
- 1/3 cup almonds, silvered
- 250 ml/1 cup milk
- 40 g/1.4 oz butter
- 200 g/7 0z chicken stock
- chicken consomme in powder
- 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 chile ancho fried, cut in rings
- cilantro leaves
- Soak and cover the chilies in hot water for 15 minutes until they become fleshy and revived. Then open them lengthwise and remove the seeds.
- Blend the chilies with the almonds and the milk until smooth.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and black pepper.
- Heat the butter in a casserole and then sear the meat on both sides for a few minutes to seal it. Remove the chicken breasts and set aside.
- Add the sauce to the same casserole and let it cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken breasts and cover it with the sauce.
- Season with the chicken consommé in powder and let it cook in low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts.
Place the chicken breasts on a plate and cover it with the hot sauce. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and decorate with the fried chile ancho rings and cilantro leaves.
I accompanied it with corn and pea rice but it would also go well with potatoes.
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