Do you ever go into a recipe half-assed, thinking to yourself, “how can I cook this as lazy as possible and still have it come out decent?” yet have a change of heart once you get going?
Lethargy was how I approached this Chicken Mole recipe from Blue Apron. I was tired and not looking to impress anyone. The recipe didn’t seem all that spectacular based on its photo. Basically, I wanted to cook it, eat it, and be done.
But, somewhere between mixing the tomato paste in with the onion and melting the bar of pure cacao, I decided, “No. No, you can do this. This has the potential to be awesome and you can make it so.” It helped somewhat that Blue Apron gave a charming account on the legend of how Mole (“mix”) came into being with two 17th century Mexican nuns discovering the archbishop would be visiting their convent and, dios mio, they had nothing respectable to cook for him! So they concocted a meal with all their on-hand ingredients which included poultry, chile peppers, and chocolate. What honor would I be giving these nuns if I didn’t at least give Mole an authentic shot?
So I tightened my apron strap, patted those chicken breasts dry, and seasoned the shit out of them. For the nuns.
The sauce for this recipe all came together with the simple blending of onion, spices, tomato paste, agave nectar, chocolate, water, and lime.
No really, just go right on ahead, because this chocolate/Mexican Spice sauce mash-up was just as good as sex. Better? Hmm, don’t know about that, this was created by nuns after all. Perhaps this was their own expression of pleasure of the senses. I’d buy that.
How many years have I lived in SoCal and never knew about Mole? Ok, I’m white. Supposedly most Mole dinners take hours to simmer and bake?! Do you know how many Mexican restaurants are in close proximity to my house? Do you know I’m now going to visit those restaurants and order every Mole dinner recipe available on their menus???!!! Chocolate and chile pepper. I can dig this. The sauce was neither spicy nor sweet, it was just…that good. I really want to try these hours-long baked Mole recipes that are out there.
The kids liked it, too! How could they not, when I told them we’d be having chicken with chocolate sauce for dinner? The roasted sweet potatoes with avocado and queso fresco felt like an afterthought. It was good, but, the sauce was really where this dinner was at. You could drink it. Better eat that chicken though. Get that protein.
Overall rating: awesome. Surprisingly low mess quota. 1/3 pancakes. You may be catching on to my personal biases as an eater by this point, hehe. Hey, now knowing how to cook my faves… the future’s looking mighty tasty…