Perhaps you’ve picked up on the themes in my recent posts. A) I like to travel to Spanish-speaking countries. B) I am really, really sick of this year’s epic Philadelphia winter, and prefer to imagine that I am elsewhere until the tulips start blooming. The good news is that, by the time this post is published, I’ll be soaking up the sun in the Arizona desert and hopefully in a better mood. Meanwhile, the culinary field trip to vacations past continues, this time to Oaxaca.
Can I just tell you how delicious this yellow mole is, and how grateful we should be that Rick Bayless exists to tell us hopeless gringos how to make such things? You really, really must make this. Besides being absolutely delectable, it’s a great use for frozen green beans! Heavens! This version turned out especially well because I used fresh, extra fatty chicken broth. I’m sure it’s still good and will do less damage to your arteries if you skim your stock. Warning: four guajillo chiles (pictured below) were too much for me. Two were too few. So, um, use three, or to taste?
Chicken with Yellow Mole (paraphrased and ever-so-slightly adapted from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday)
3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and torn into several pieces
1 pint roasted tomatoes
1/2 small white onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 t. ground cumin
4 c. fresh chicken broth
2 T. canola oil
2 c. cooked chicken (if you’re making broth, bingo! you’ve got chicken!)
1 T masa harina, or coarse cornmeal in a pinch
2 c. green beans (frozen are fine)
2 large or 4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
1) Combine the torn chiles, tomatoes, onion, garlic, cumin, and 1 cup of the stock in a blender. Puree until smooth.
2) Heat up the oil in a large, heavy pot. Add the tomato-chili mixture and cook until it looks like a thick paste. Rick says it takes about 5 minutes; I needed closer to 20. Maybe that’s because I’m using about twice the tomatoes that he recommends. In any case, dragging a spoon through the mixture should leave a track.
3) Whisk the masa harina or cornmeal into the remaining stock, then add that to the chile-tomato mixture. Bring to a boil and simmer until it starts to get thick. Add the cooked chicken (ideally shredded), the green beans, and the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are tender, then taste and adjust the seasonings.
Serve with warm tortillas. Hint: if it’s too spicy, eat it with yogurt. This gets better and better as it sits in the fridge, though I doubt it will last that long.