Peanuts and chicken are one of those flavor combinations that sounds crazy-until you try it. Mole (mo-lay) is a popular Mexican dish that combines nuts and chilies, and often chocolate, into a sauce served over chicken and rice. It is an intensely flavored, hearty dish that is also a crowd pleaser. Adults and kids alike seem to recognize and be comforted by the combination of peanuts and chicken. Be sure to serve with a nice big pile of rice to soak up all that delicious sauce.
Peanut Chicken Moleserves 6, prep 30 min, cook 1 hour and 15 minute, adapted from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen
- 2 dried ancho chilies, stemmed, seeded, torn into pieces
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 small white onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 medium Roma tomatoes
- 1 cup dry roasted peanuts (could sub peanut butter, the kind that’s just peanuts and salt)
- 1/2 cup white bread, toasted, torn into pieces
- 2 chipotle chilies from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup fruity red wine
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- parsley for garnish
- Rehydrate ancho chile pieces in water for 30 min.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a dutch oven over medium.
- Saute garlic and onion until well browned. Add to a blender or food processor.
- Place tomatoes on a baking sheet and broil until blackened (approximately 5 minutes about 4 inches below the broiler).
- Flip tomatoes and roast the other side. Drain ancho chiles.
- Cool tomatoes slightly, peel and add to the blender with the onions.
- Add ancho chiles, peanuts, bread, chipotles, allspice, and cinnamon to the blender. Add 1 1/2 cup of the chicken broth. Blend until smooth.
- Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in the dutch oven over medium high.
- Add peanut mixture and stir and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add remaining broth, wine, vinegar, and bay leaves. Partially cover, simmer over medium low approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Taste, season with salt and sugar, taste again and salt as needed.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish with sauce.
- Place trimmed chicken breasts in baking dish and pour remaining sauce over the top.
- Bake 20-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. While the chicken is cooking you can start some rice and clean up your huge mess.
- Remove breasts to a platter and stir sauce. Add additional chicken broth to thin sauce if necessary.
- Serve over rice, garnished with chopped parsley and chopped peanuts.
This is not the fastest dish to put together, but there is nothing difficult about it. It is a nice dish to make when you aren’t rushed and makes plenty to eat leftover.
Posted in Main Dish