Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken Mole Over Corn Tamales [Pollo Mole Y Uchepos]

Ingredients for the corn tamales (uchepos):
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons salt
pinch of nutmeg
6 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup masa harina (Mexican corn flour)
1 cup lard or butter
25 corn husks, soaked in hot water

* * * * * *

Ingredients for the chicken mole:
5 young chickens, cut up into 8 pieces
About 12 cups of chicken stock
5 chipotle chiles
10 ancho chiles
1/4 cup raisins
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, skin removed
1 cup sesame seeds
3 cups vegetable oil
1/4 of a baguette, sliced
3/4 cup peanuts, toasted
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
4 ounces dark chocolate, melted
1 stick of Mexican cinnamon, toasted
3 tomatoes
6 cloves garlic
6 tomatillos
1-inch ginger, chopped
1 onion, quartered
4 ounces piloncillo (jaggery, palm sugar, or brown sugar can be substituted)

Preparing the corn tamales (uchepos):
Heat the milk nearly to a boil, and then set aside to cool. Process with the corn in a blender and strain into a saucepan. Add chicken stock, sugar, salt and nutmeg and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly for 30 minutes. Whisk in masa harina. Beat the butter or lard with a paddle until soft and fluffy. Mix in the corn mixture and season with salt and pepper. Wrap in corn husks and steam for 45 minutes.

* * * * * *

Preparing the chicken mole:
In a heavy skillet slowly toast the sesame seeds to golden brown and cool. Reserve a little sesame seeds for garnish.

Toast the chiles over medium heat in the skillet until they begin to slightly darken. Remove from pan and pour 1 cup of oil in the pan. Fry the toasted chiles in the oil for about 3 minutes over medium heat.

Combine the sesame seeds, roasted red pepper and fried chiles in a large bowl. Add a little more oil to the skillet and fry the ginger, garlic, tomatillos, tomatoes, raisins and onion until the tomatoes are charred and the onion is soft and begins to brown. Drain the oil and discard.

Combine the tomato/raisin mixture with the toasted nuts, the baguette and the melted chocolate along with the chiles mixture. Process in a blender with chicken stock and strain. Heat a large stockpot and add 1 1/2 cups of oil. When hot, fry the strained sauce and simmer. Be careful when adding the sauce to the hot oil.

Add the piloncillo to the simmering sauce and adjust the viscosity of the sauce by adding more chicken sauce as needed. The mole should be thin at this stage. It will thicken as it simmers with the chicken.

Quarter each chicken and simmer in the sauce until cooked. [Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and simmer it in a large stock pot with water until almost cooked. The cooking liquid becomes the chicken stock. Then you only need to simmer chicken in sauce for 10 to 15 minutes.]

Serve the chicken mole over two corn tamales. Pour some mole sauce over the chicken and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.

Serves 10


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