Learning to make a good authentic mole sauce is on my bucket list. Many people don’t realise that there is a huge amount of variations to authentic mole sauces in Mexico. There are dark brown and red ones, yellow and green; as well as spicy, chocolately and sweet variations too. If you’ve even heard of this dish then you are probably picturing the popular version from Puebla. That one is a dark sauce made with an enormous list of ingredients including peppers, spices, chocolate and turkey — or chicken may be used instead. Though I didn’t grow up eating mole Poblano it is now something I love to eat — we will dedicate a whole article to this very special dish another time.
Since moving back to Mexico I have been learning about mole and testing out many recipes. I am still working on my final recipe and hope to share it soon. In the meantime, today I’d like to share this chicken stew that was highly inspired by green mole, but it really can’t be called that. This meal is delicious and packed full of wonderful flavours. Additionally it is much simpler to prepare than a traditional mole recipe. I hope you enjoy the stew as much as my husband and I do eating it.
- 4 large skinless chicken breasts with bone (or can use boneless and other cuts of meat)
- 3 medium poblano (weight was 380 g or 13.4 oz)
- 4 serrano peppers, stem removed (remove seeds and pith for milder sauce)
- 4 tomatillos with husks removed (weight was 225 g or half pound)
- 1 small onion or ¼ large onion (weight was 50 g or 1.76 oz)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1.5 tsp sea salt, adjust to taste
- ¼ tsp ground cumin, adjust to taste
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper, adjust to taste
- pinch of ground cloves
- 4 leaves of epazote
- large handful cilantro, with stems
- 1 cup of low-sodium & no MSG chicken broth
- 1 tbsp masa harina mixed with 2-3 tbsp water (to thicken)
- 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil of choice
- raw pumpkin seeds to decorate, if desired
- white or Mexican rice
- corn tortillas
- Place the poblano peppers, serranos, tomatillos, onion and garlic on a griddle to char. Keep flipping the vegetables until they are all browned, and in the case of poblanos: charred, on all sides. Make sure that you don’t burn anything! The tomatillos, serranos, onion and garlic will be charred first, and once they are place them in a pot with enough water to cover them. Simmer them until they have soften all the way through. Once the poblanos have been charred and softened, put them on a plate and cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Once the other vegetables in the pot have soften, remove and set aside to cool but make sure to save the boiling broth.
- Once you can handle the boiled tomatillos, serranos, onions and garlic, place them all in a blender. Remove plastic wrap from charred poblano peppers, gently scrap away the charred skin then cut them open and remove the seeds, vein and stem. Rinse the poblanos, cut into 4 parts and place in blender with other vegetables. Add about 1 ladle of the broth from the boiled vegetables, the salt, cumin and black pepper. Blend until you achieve a smooth sauce, then add the epazote and cilantro to the blender and process until well combined with other ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired.
- Heat the oil and once warm brown the chicken breasts on all sides. Once the chicken has browned, gently pour in the sauce and chicken broth, then stir to coat the chicken. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the chicken has cooked through, about 20 minutes or so. Mix the masa harina with the water until you have a smooth constancy then add the mixture to the pot and stir until well combined. Allow to simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened. Serve alongside white rice, warm corn tortillas, and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds.
The stew has a medium spicy heat that is complex without one ingredient over powering the other. This dish is perfect for days when you want to treat your family and for special occasions too. I like to prepare it on rainy days.
In just a short five days Mexicans all over the world will be partaking in the Independence Day celebrations. I personally can’t wait to see what kind of fiesta the municipal government has in store for us! And if you love good Mexican food then I see no reason why you shouldn’t celebrate along with me and my fellow countrymen. I have a whopping 95 recipes you can choose from. Just take a look…