The following recipe is from the July 7 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!
I don't use my slow cooker nearly enough, and sadly, it spends most of its time sitting on a bottom shelf in my kitchen collecting dust. But with the soaring temperatures I've been experiencing lately in New York, I was looking for a way to cook a a satisfying meal without heating up the whole kitchen, and the slow cooker was just the appliance to undertake the task.
This recipe for Easy Slow Cooker Mole with Grilled Chicken from Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless uses the gentle heat of the slow cooker to simmer the mole instead of a long and hot stove top session. The mole reduces for six hours and is then blended and reduced again to make for a sauce that is rich and deep in both color and flavor. Once the mole is finished the chicken is grilled and topped with the sauce. Since I hadn't had a chance to set up my grill I pan seared the chicken and added it directly to the mole, then let it braise for another hour so that all of the flavors had a chance to permeate.
Moles are always labor intensive undertakings but this slow cooker version is relatively easy and the sauce is filled with all of the intense, almost bitter chile and chocolate flavors that you'd find in a much more difficult preparation. I'm looking forward to trying out a mole-braised pork butt using the same concept.
Easy Slow Cooker Mole with Grilled Chicken
- serves 12 with about 2 quarts of sauce (you'll have leftovers) -
- 1/2 cup rich-tasting pork lard or vegetable oil, plus a little more if necessary
- 6 medium (about 3 ounces total) dried mulato chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
- 3 medium (about 1 1/2 ounces total) dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
- 5 medium (about 1 1/2 ounces total) dried pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) whole almonds—with or without skins
- 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) raisins
- One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, preferably freshly ground Mexican canela
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
- 1/4 teaspoon anise, preferably freshly ground (optional)
- A scant 1/8 teaspoon cloves, preferably freshly ground
- 1 ounce (about 1/4 of a 3.3 ounce tablet) Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 slice firm white bread, darkly toasted and broken into several pieces
- 1/4 cup sugar (plus a little more if needed)
- About 2 quarts chicken broth
- 12 good-size pieces of chicken—bone-in breast halves or leg-and-thigh pieces—trimmed of excess fat
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
If your slow cooker has a removable cooking crock that can be placed directly on the heat, measure in the lard or oil and set it over medium heat. Otherwise, heat the lard or oil in a very large (7- to 8-quart) pot or Dutch oven. When hot, add the chiles, garlic, almonds and raisins. Stir slowly and continually until the chiles are thoroughly toasted (the interior of each piece will become lighter in color) and the almonds have taken on a creamy color and toasty aroma—about 5 minutes.
In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring nearly constantly, until lightly browned and aromatic, about 4 minutes.
Lay a piece of grilled chicken on each dinner plate. Pour a generous 1/2 cup of sauce on and around the chicken, then sprinkle with a generous shower of sesame seeds. Serve right away.