Thursday, 24 January 2013
Mexican chicken in mole sauce (and a margarita)
That's mole as in the Mexican sauce, not the cute little character from Wind in the Willows - though something of a tautology perhaps as I gather 'mole' comes from the Spanish word for sauce. So this is Mexican chicken in sauce.
I've come across a few recipes for mole before which involve cocoa powder, and I always wondered what sort of flavour that gave to the sauce but was never brave enough to try. But thanks to a combination of blog challenges this month I was inspired to give it a go!
I have got a Mexican recipe book that I wanted to use, but I only hit upon this idea while at work, the day the challenge ended, so I had to find a recipe online. I also had some leftover chicken from a roast at the weekend that was on its last legs so found a recipe that combined spices, cocoa powder, tomato soup and green chillis- though for reasons you will understand later, I'm not putting the link for the recipe up. Also, I couldn't get one of the main ingredients on the way home so had to improvise.... still, isn't that how new recipes are born?
I started by frying some onion (I used red onion for the flavour)
Add about 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of coriander, a squirt of garlic puree and 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder.
Then stir in some passata - the recipe said to use tomato soup but I don't like tomato soup (weird as I do eat passata) and also I had some open that needed using. You are then supposed to add one can of diced green chili peppers. This is an American recipe and as far as I know, peppers in this country don't come in a can. And just my luck, my little Tesco Metro didn't have any green peppers of any kind, chilli or bell. I decided not to buy a red bell pepper as it wasn't the same thing at all, so I threw some dried chilli flakes into the pan instead (which isn't really the same thing either, but never mind).
Before adding the chicken to the pan I decided to taste the sauce... and I'm glad I did. This is no reflection on the recipe and probably a combination of the fact that I didn't have the right ingredients and personal taste, but.... it was horrible! It was the first time I have made a savoury dish with chocolate and, much in the same way that my bacon brownies were (in my boyfriend's words) a crime against chocolate, I don't think this was much better. I'd be interested to know if anyone has any good savoury recipes with chocolate that they can recommend... because based on this one, I don't think I'll be making one again.
I had some pasta for dinner instead...
But decided that in the spirit of all things Mexican, I would make myself a margarita!This recipe I did use from my book, inventively called Mexican Recipes.
First moisten the rim of a margarita glass with the rind of a lime and dip in salt. Shake off the excess. I seemed to get rather a lot of salt around the edge of my glass, I don't know if there's a trick to it!
You're supposed to use crushed ice but I didn't want to go to the hassle of putting ice in a blender so I just bashed some ice cubes up a bit (and since I was the only one drinking it, that was good enough for me). Mix one shot of tequila with one shot of triple sec and one shot of lime juice - shake in a cocktail shaker and with the ice and pour into the glass.
I think this might have been the first time I've had a proper margarita and it was pretty good, though there was far too much salt around the edge of the glass - I think I got too much on the rim but would probably have preferred to do without entirely. I might have to try out a few more cocktails and put them on this blog!
Despite the fact that it didn't turn out very well, I am sending my Mexican mole sauce to this month's We Should Cocoa, hosted by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and Chele at Chocolate Teapot, as their theme this month is sugar free chocolate, which includes cocoa powder.
I am also sending this to the Bloggers Around the World challenge hosted by Chris at Cooking Around the World as the theme this month is Mexican food. I'm hoping some other people can give me some recipes that turn out better than this one!