Sunday, November 7, 2010

When Life Gives You Rotisserie Chicken

So, I'm all for the traditional big Sunday meal.  But it was a busy weekend, and I just didn't feel like spending the afternoon cooking AND THEN CLEANING.  So we opted for a store-bought rotisserie chicken with one of our favorite sauces...  Molé Poblano.  The original recipe does not call for the additional simmering at the end, but I find that it really helps deepen the flavors.  And it makes the whole house smell just incredible to boot.

Chicken Molé Poblano

2 dried ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
2 dried anaheim chilies, stemmed and seeded
2 dried chipotle chilies, stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 - 1/2 cup slivered or whole almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 Tbs whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick, broken in pieces
1 Tbs dried oregano
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Anaheim pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 Pasilla pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
6 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

1/2 tsp salt
1 disk Mexican chocolate (about 3 oz), chopped
1 small can low-sodium chicken broth

Tear the chiles into large pieces and toast them in a medium - large saucepan over medium heat until they change color a bit, about 2 minutes. Put them into a bowl with the raisins and cover them with hot water. In the same pan, add the almonds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and oregano. Toast for 2 minutes, then add the sesame seeds and continue toasting until sesame seeds turn golden.  Grind in a spice grinder and set aside. In the same pan over medium-high heat add the olive oil, onions, garlic, fresh peppers and thyme. Cook until lightly browned, then add the tomatoes. Season with salt.  Cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add broth and the chocolate, along with the soaked chiles and raisins, followed by the ground spices. Tranfer half of mixture into a blender and purée until smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture.  Return to pan, reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  While the sauce cooks, start a batch of rice (I season mine with a bit of cumin) and toast some tortillas (we used corn) in a hot skillet.

Place chunks of chicken over cooked rice and top with sauce, sour cream and avocado.  Cilantro would also be a nice addition if you're one of those people that can eat it.  I can't, so I left it off.

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