Inspiration: I have been wanting to try out a mole at home for so long now, but I’m always a little leery of the laundry list of ingredients. I’m ambitious with my cooking a lot, but somehow I just never got around to driving to a million markets to find all of the right peppers and then devoting an entire day to whipping up the meal. And now that we have Ben, that’s pretty much an idea that will be put on the back burner for the foreseeable future. When I ran across this recipe a few weeks ago, though, I knew that I had found a simpler, more manageable mole that could work for us right now.
What We Loved: This dish was fantastic. It was the best new recipe that we’ve tried in quite some time, and I immediately filed it away in my “awesome Mexican recipes” file for plenty of use in the future. The sauce is truly incredible, both in texture and in taste. Texture-wise, it is incredibly velvety and creamy, which is quite surprising considering the fact that it wasn’t even pureed. A bunch of ingredients thrown into a pot magically melted down into velvet after six hours of cooking, and the chicken just fell apart. And taste-wise, the flavor was rich and complex with notes of dark chocolate, earthy peppers, and bright tomatoes. Plus, it wasn’t bitter at all, which is something that I usually dislike about a lot of moles. As this was cooking away, the aroma in the house was divine. Brandon came home and asked if there was chocolate in what I was making, because he could smell it, which was awesome. The mole really had a rich chocolate scent without tasting too much like chocolate. Perfect.
Tips: If you’re looking for a really authentic, time consuming, involved mole, I’d recommend turning to Rick Bayless. He’s got several mole recipes in his cookbooks (and probably online) that seem to be the real thing. Also – the one recommendation that I’d make for improvement in this recipe would be to either rehydrate the peppers first so that they can be very finely diced, or throw them into a food processor. I chopped them into big chunks, and I wasn’t overly thrilled with the texture of those big chunks in the finally dish. They were the only thing that didn’t (and couldn’t) melt down.
Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole
Source: Rubies and Radishes
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs chicken (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 28 oz can whole fire-roasted tomatoes
5 dried New Mexico chiles, stems and seeds removed and chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup almond butter
2.5 oz dark chocolate (I used Endangered Species brand 88%)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Avocado, cilantro, and jalapeno, for garnish
1. Add a pat of butter to a saute pan over medium heat. Saute the onions until softened, and then add the garlic. Stir to combine, and transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the saute pan, and brown on all sides. Place the chicken in the slow cooker.
3. Add the tomatoes, chiles, almond butter, chocolate, cumin, salt, cinnamon, and chili powder to the slow cooker. Mix everything together well, making sure that the chicken is nestled down under the sauce.
4. Cook for 4-6 hours on low.
5. Serve garnished with avocado, cilantro, and jalapeno.