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What's for Dinner? | QUICK FIX

Chicken, Hot and Smoky

May 05, 1999|ANDY BRODER SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Mole means different things to different people. Each region in Mexico has its own version--or, more likely, several. Further, most families have their own set of mole recipes, which vary widely and may be far from traditional. To me, mole should be dark, rich, almost smooth and full of the flavors of chiles, tomato and smoke and with a hint of chocolate.

Using canned chipotles in adobo sauce gives this 30-minute mole its smoky flavor, as well as some heat, and using canned chiles cuts down on cooking time. Sauteed onion and garlic even out the flavor of the sauce. Canned tomato puree is a quick way to thicken the sauce and reduce cooking time. Canned chicken stock gives the sauce a chicken flavor that is deeper than you would expect from a recipe using chicken tenders or boneless, skinless breasts.

Serve the mole in warm flour tortillas topped with a dollop of sour cream and a slice or two of avocado. Serve with a chilled Riesling and a tropical fruit-flavored sorbet, such as mango, papaya or passion fruit, for dessert.

MENU

30-Minute Chicken Mole

Tropical Fruit Sorbet

30-Minute Chicken Mole

Active Work and Preparation Time: 30 minutes * Quick

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (4-ounce) can diced, roasted green chiles

3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can tomato puree

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth

2 pounds chicken tenders or boneless, skinless breasts cut into 1/2-wide strips

Salt, pepper

4 (10-inch) flour tortillas

1/2 pint sour cream

1 avocado

* Heat medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add olive oil, onion and garlic and cook, stirring, 1 1/2 minutes.

* Add green chiles, chipotle chiles, adobo sauce, cocoa and brown sugar and stir to incorporate.

* Add tomato puree and chicken stock. Puree mixture with immersion blender or in batches in conventional blender. Return to pot and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

* Add chicken, season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until juices run clear when pierced with fork, 10 to 12 minutes.

* Put 1 tortilla in 6- to 8-inch bowl. Spoon 1/4 of chicken mole on tortilla. Top with 2 tablespoons sour cream and 2 slices avocado. Repeat in 3 more bowls with remaining 3 tortillas, chicken mole, sour cream and avocados.

4 servings. Each serving: 563 calories; 732 mg sodium; 124 mg cholesterol; 31 grams fat; 25 grams carbohydrates; 46 grams protein; 1.26 grams fiber.

GAME PLAN

30 minutes before: Begin heating saucepan. Chop onion and mince garlic.

25 minutes before: Cook onion and garlic in oil.

23 minutes before: Stir in green chiles, chipotle chiles, adobo sauce, brown sugar, cocoa, chicken broth and tomato puree. Puree with immersion blender.

20 minutes before: Return puree to pot and bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer. Meanwhile, cut chicken into strips if using whole breasts.

15 minutes before: Add chicken to simmering sauce. Peel and slice avocado.

10 minutes before: Use this time to set the table and clean up the kitchen.

5 minutes before: Line four bowls with flour tortillas.

3 minutes before: Put 1/4 of the mole in each tortilla-lined bowl and top each with 2 tablespoons sour cream and 2 slices avocado.

INGREDIENTS

Shopping List

2 pounds chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 pint sour cream

1 package (10-inch) flour tortillas

1 avocado

Staples

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth

1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

1 (4-ounce) can diced, roasted green chiles

Unsweetened cocoa powder

Garlic

Olive oil

Onion

Pepper

Salt

Dark brown sugar

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can tomato puree

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