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Mole Rojo

Recipe from: El Naranjo

Acclaimed chef Iliana de la Vega serves up authentic Oaxacan cuisine at her El Naranjo mobile trailer in Austin, Texas.

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1 pound tomatoes
1 large white onion
8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
½ pound chile ancho
¼ pound chile guajillo
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
60 grams pecans
60 grams peanuts, roasted & unsalted
4 tablespoons brown sesame seeds
1-2 inches of Mexican canela
8 black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 tablespoons dried Oaxacan oregano or marjoram
1-½ cups chicken broth
210 grams Mexican chocolate
16 assorted chicken pieces
½ white onion
4 garlic cloves
Salt to taste

On a comal or griddle set over medium-high heat dry-roast the tomatoes, onion and unpeeled garlic. The garlic will be ready sooner—when it shows brown spots, remove.

Remove the stems, seeds and veins from the chiles. Dry roast them on a dry comal. Transfer to soak in hot water, no more than 15 minutes. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons oil on a skillet and sauté the pecans and peanuts. When golden add the sesame seeds, canela, peppercorns, cloves and oregano. Remove from heat.

Transfer the chiles into the blender add enough water to blend; process until smooth, strain; reserve.

Heat remaining oil in a large cazuela (Dutch oven) set over medium low heat and pour the chile puree over the oil. Fry for 5-10 min. Blend the remaining prepared ingredients, pass through a sieve. Stir into the chile paste, let the mole reduce, and then add the chicken broth, salt, sugar and chocolate to taste. Let it simmer stirring occasionally until the mole covers the back of a spoon.

To cook the chicken: In a large stockpot bring salted water to a boil, add onion and garlic, when is fast boiling it is time to add the chicken pieces with bones and skins. Reduce the heat to the minimum; let the chicken cook until done (it will be floating on top). Check for doneness, remove and reserve. Strain the broth, reserve for the mole.

Yield: 16 sevings