This must be the time to be re-tweaking some recipes from the past. One of Hubby’s all-time favorites has to be Chicken Mole. Way, way back when on a very early “date” in our marriage, he took me to this hole-in-the-wall place that had some of the best Mole on the planet.
I got to thinking, I haven’t made my “Cheater’s Mole” for my guys in a while. It’s almost from scratch. The mole sauce is made from a jar of concentrated mole sauce. That’s an important distinction. Do not reach for the ready to serve sauce. It is not at all the same thing. It lacks that deep rich depth of a true mole. So get the concentrated sauce if you are going to cheat.
Why mess with a good thing? It wasn’t intentional, I assure you. When I made my Chicken Mole, two things happened that turned out to be good things. First, the jar of concentrate in our pantry wasn’t my usual concentrate. It was the same brand, but in a different size. So the chicken stock to concentrate was something I needed to play around with. You can’t always just double or cut ingredients in half – the ratio needs to be perfected. According to the jar, it was four to one. One jar of Mole would mean a little more than 8 cups of chicken stock. Way, way too much stock. I though about going with four cups, but decided to do three, give a taste and go from there. Three was plenty to dilute the sauce while still keeping everything nice and thick.
The second thing that happened was that I got busy. I’ve been working on a time-sensitive thing, and pretty much everything else is taking a bit of a back seat. So when I started diluting the mole concentrate, I let it simmer a while unattended. Guess what happened? It got thick – like pudding. And dark and rich and just plain awesome! The only thing missing was just a little Jalapeño kick. No problem, just add a little pepper sauce to taste, just enough to elevate the heat level, and there you go. I’m telling you, this was great!
Slow-Simmer Cheater’s Chicken Mole
1 (16.75 oz) jar Dona Maria Mole sauce (concentrated)
3 cups Chicken Stock. divided
Jalapeño Sauce, to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Empty mole concentrate into a high-sided skillet pan. Pour 1-1/2 cups of the chicken stock in the skillet with the mole. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the concentrate into the stock. Use a potato masher or other means to break up the concentrate and help it to return to a liquid. Once most of the mole has dissolved, add remaining chicken stock. Lower heat, allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. The mole will thicken and resemble a dark chocolate pudding. Season with a little Jalapeño or other pepper sauce. Stir to incorporate, taste the heat level and adjust as desired.
While mole sauce is simmering, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a large casserole dish on a baking sheet (to catch any spillage) and set aside.
Cut chicken breasts into large chunks, about 2-inch squares. Place chicken breasts in the casserole dish. (You may want to use two casserole dishes so as to not overcrowd the chicken).
Spoon the thick sauce over breasts. Stir to coat evenly in the sauce. Cover the casserole with foil and bake in the heated oven for about 90 minutes. Chicken has reached perfection when it is fork-tender.
Serve with warm flour tortillas and your favorite sides such as refried beans and rice.