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Mole chicken. Did you just respond, “Yes, please!”? Mmmmm. Mole chicken is *usually* a really time consuming dish. It’s the kind of thing that makes most cooks just keep flipping through the book to something easier. This is about 1 1/2 hours start to finish, and an hour of that is the Instant Pot doing the work. This has great flavor and is comparatively very easy. Let’s do this!
The Whole Smiths Real Food Every Day. I love love love this book! Everything’s delicious, easy, and nutritious. Perfect! I’ll tell you all about the rest of the book after the recipe. Please note ~ I think the author must be using Diamond Crystal Kosher salt because the numbers are at the high end. I’m using plain old salt, so I cut the salt to 2/3 in everything which worked perfectly. Thought I’d share in case you use table salt, too.
Excerpted from THE WHOLE SMITHS REAL FOOD EVERY DAY © 2020 by Michelle Smith. Photography © 2020 by Michelle Smith and Jennifer Skog. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
SERVES 4 TO 6
Dairy-Free • Gluten-Free
I knew when I decided to tackle this recipe that it would be a tall order. Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce in which meat is simmered and stewed. It has a complex flavor, and it’s either right or it’s wrong. Making mole often requires a long, tedious process to get the flavors just right. But thanks to modern kitchen technology, we can make it in the comfort of our own homes with less labor, in a fraction of the time. You can serve this mole over Oven-Roasted Cauliflower Rice (page 73), with corn tortillas, over baked sweet potatoes, in enchiladas…the options are nearly endless!
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
6½ teaspoons salt, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon aniseed
¼ cup avocado oil
5 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
½ medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
¼ cup blanched raw almonds
¼ cup raisins
2 tablespoons pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 whole black peppercorns
2 corn tortillas, lightly charred and torn into pieces
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded
2 ounces dark chocolate (see Tip), chopped
3 cups chicken broth
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Season the chicken thighs with 4 teaspoons of the salt and set aside.
Set the Instant Pot to the Sauté function on Normal. When the Instant Pot is hot, add the sesame seeds. Toast the sesame seeds, stirring frequently, until they are lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the cloves, coriander, and aniseed. Toast the seeds and spices, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the toasted seeds and spices from the Instant Pot and set aside.
Increase the Sauté setting to More and add the avocado oil to the pot. When the oil is hot, add the pasilla and ancho chiles. Fry them in the oil until they have softened a bit, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chiles from the Instant Pot and set them aside with the toasted seeds.
Add the onion to the hot oil and cook, stirring, until tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Return the toasted seeds and fried chiles to the Instant Pot. Add the almonds, raisins, pepitas, coconut sugar, cinnamon, peppercorns, tortillas, chipotle, chocolate, broth, 2 teaspoons salt, and the chicken thighs to the pot. Set the Instant Pot to Poultry on More, lock the lid into place, and cook for 60 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
Carefully remove the chicken and set aside. Working in batches, if necessary, carefully transfer the sauce from the Instant Pot to a blender and add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Blend on high speed until smooth. Taste and season with additional salt, if necessary. Return the sauce to the Instant Pot and set to Sauté. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Return the chicken thighs to the Instant Pot and simmer for 5 minutes more to heat them through. Garnish with cilantro, if desired, and serve. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
TIP: Find the darkest chocolate possible for this recipe. I used an 86% cacao chocolate bar for this recipe and loved the results. You can also substitute 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder for the chocolate.
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*I received a copy to explore and share my thoughts.