Inspiration: My favorite cookbook is Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless. Everything that I’ve ever made with his name on it has been gold. B and I wanted to spend a whole Saturday evening making a more elaborate Mexican meal, so we knew right where to turn.
What we Loved: I don’t think that I can adequately describe how much we loved this recipe. It was one of those meals that we knew was special after taking just one bite. The chicken breasts were simply sauteed, and they really paired perfectly with the amazing mole sauce. The dominant flavor of the sauce was the nutty pumpkin seed flavor, but then there were so many other elements thrown in there, too. Fresh cilantro, hot peppers, sweet tomatillos, and the wonderful spices of cinnamon and cloves. The consistency of the sauce was creamy and buttery from the pumpkin seeds, almost reminding me of something like a pumpkin seed butter. Like every other Rick Bayless recipe that I’ve tried, this was really just perfect.
Helpful Hints: I only realized after I had already made my sauce that the directions stated to stem and seed the jalapeno peppers. I just threw the entire peppers right into the food processor. Oops. I was worried that I had ruined the sauce by turning it into something unbearably hot, but in the end it was just fine and had a perfect amount of spice. That being said, I don’t know what the sauce tastes like with seeded peppers, so I suppose whether you seed your peppers or not should depend on your preference for how spicy you’d like the sauce to be.
Chicken with Green Pumpkin Seed Mole
Source: Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless
I made a lot of adjustments to the recipe to suit my preferences. Here’s the recipe as I made it.
For the Chicken
2 chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
For the Mole
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups chicken broth
12 oz tomatillos, husked and washed (about 8 large)
2 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 handful fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds
6 black peppercorns
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch ground cinnamon
1. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan until browned. Add the pumpkin seeds to a mini food processor, and grind to a fine powder. Be careful not to process for too long, or the seeds will begin to form a paste. Mix the powder in a bowl with 1 cup of the chicken broth, and set aside.
2. Simmer the tomatillos and peppers in a pot of salted water for 10-12 minutes. Drain.
3. Place the cumin, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon in a mini food processor or spice grinder, and process to a fine powder.
4. Add the tomatillos, peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro, and spice mixture to a large food processor, and process until smooth.
5. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seed mixture to the pan, and stir constantly for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is thickened.
6. Add the tomatillo mixture to the pan. Stir to incorporate, and cook for 4-5 minutes to thicken.
7. Add the remaining 1 cup of chicken broth to the pan. Stir, and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes.
8. Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a second saute pan, and saute the chicken until cooked through.
9. Serve the chicken with the sauce. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and cilantro.