Monday, January 19, 2009
One of my favorite Mexican sauces is mole. This little Mexican place around the corner from my old job made the best chicken enchiladas with mole sauce. I miss them terribly. If you are unfamiliar with what mole is you can check out the Wikipedia page. The mole sauce I know and love is more technically called a mole poblano and according to Wikipedia is:
"Mole poblano is prepared with dried chili peppers (commonly ancho, pasilla, mulato and chipotle), ground nuts and/or seeds (almonds, indigenous peanuts, and/or sesame seeds), spices, Mexican chocolate (cacao ground with sugar and cinnamon and occasionally nuts), salt, and a variety of other ingredients including charred avocado leaves, onions, and garlic. Dried seasonings such as ground oregano are also used. In order to provide a rich thickness to the sauce, bread crumbs or crackers are added to the mix."
In an effort to stick to my diet but still feed cravings for tasty Mexican I decided to make a South Beach approved Chicken Mole, it incorporates several of the elements in a traditional mole poblano but is obviously tweaked to be SB friendly. It's a pretty solid dish and easy to make, but it was not my favorite and I'm posting it as a work in progress that I plan to tweak it to make the ultimate mole. Suggestions are welcome!
from the South Beach Diet Cookbook
1 1/4 lb. chicken breast tenders (I used 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts)
Ground black pepper
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped (I used a red bell pepper)
1/2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves (Since I only had whole cloves, I just crushed them with my mortar & pestle)
1/2 can (7 1/4 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp unsweetened natural peanut butter
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 scallion, chopped
1. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and black pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with olive oil cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 8 minutes, turning once, or until browned on both sides. Remove the chicken to a large plate.
2. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Stir in the chili powder, cinnamon, and cloves and cook for 1 minute.
3. Return the chicken to the skillet. Add the tomatoes (with juice), peanut butter, and cocoa powder and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer, stirring every few minutes, for 25 minutes, turning once, or until the chicken is no longer pink.
I think I will try to just make the sauce from this a few more times to get the spices just right. I think it could use some chipotle chile to give it a bit more heat and I may sub in some allspice instead of cloves next time and try using some oregano. If you try it and/or have any suggestions. I'd love to hear them. Enjoy!