- 3 medium (about 5 1/2 ounces) dried guajillo chiles
- 2 medium (about 2 ounces) dried ancho chiles
- 2 medium (about 2 ounces) dried pasilla chiles
- 1 dried chipotle chile, or 2 tablespoons of chipotle in adobo sauce
- 1 corn tortilla, torn into small ‘strips’
- 1 1/4-inch-thick slice of white onion
- 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- About 2 cups rendered animal fat (we love chicken) or vegetable oil for frying the chiles
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup pecan halves
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 1/4 cup almonds
- About 2-3 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 1 each tomato, roughly chopped and roasted dark brown
- 2 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and roughly chopped and roasted dark brown
- 1 slice stale bread
- 1/4 teaspoon clove, freshly ground
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, freshly ground
- A scant teaspoon freshly chopped oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme, freshly chopped
- 1/4 ripe banana
- 1/4 cup (about 2 ounces) finely chopped dark, unsweetened chocolate
- Salt, about 1 tablespoon depending on the saltiness of the broth
- Brown sugar, about 2 tablepsoons
- Pull out the stems (and attached seed pods) from the chiles, tear them open, and shake or scrape out the seeds.
- Bring a small pot (2 quarts) of water to a boil. Once boiling, turn to a simmer.
- While the water is simmering, take the dried chilies and place them in a heavy-bottomed rondo or pot. Pour in the animal fat (you can use a blended oil if vegetarian). There should be enough fat in the cooking vessel to create a ‘shallow fry’ — about one inch deep. Bring up to medium heat and fry the dried chilies well. You will know they are nearing done when the fat turns a reddish brown hue and they are very fragrant (keep that exhaust on and window open). It should gently bubble and simmer, and carefully — with tongs — you should turn the chilies in the pot so that all chilies get equal time in the fat, frying.
- When done, turn off the pot and drain the hot chilies well on a paper plate, or paper towel. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Pour the simmering water over the chilies, wrap the bowl in plastic film and set aside.
- In a separate pan, blacken the onion, garlic, and tortilla strips in a heavy pan set to medium-high heat. Put them in dry (no fat). This is to create a blackened flavor — make sure to char them well, as this greatly contributes to the final nuances of the sauce.
- When the tortillas, onions, and garlic are blackened, remove from pan, peel final skin off of garlic, and set in a separate medium bowl.
- Now add all of the nuts to the pan and toast them over medium heat, until a robust smell emerges from the pan and they have slightly changed color to toasty-brown. At this point, remove them from the pan and set aside in the medium bowl.
- In same pan, now toast your sesame seeds, keeping it on medium heat. Continue to toast, tossing them in pan occasionally, until slightly colored and fragrant. Set aside in same medium bowl.
- Turning your attention back to the chiles, drain the liquid from them well, reserving this flavorful soaking liquid, separately.
- Once the hot ingredients you’ve been working with are cool, add all of these ingredients to the blender, and add the roasted tomato, tomatillo, seasonings, sugar, banana, herbs, and all other ingredients, along with 1 cup of the chicken stock and blend to as smooth a purée as you can. Adjust the consistency to make sure it is properly blending. If it is too thick, add more stock. Make sure you blend all ingredients well.
- Once a cohesive, smooth purée, place back into a heavy pot and reduce, stirring, until a nice, thick, chocolate-y brown sauce is developing.
- Lastly, while still warm, strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Discard waste and set velvety sauce aside.
Herbed Hominy Stuffed Chicken Legs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh sage
- 1/2 cup cooked or puffed hominy (purchase at a Latino market)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 chicken legs, thigh bone removed (ask your butcher to remove the thigh bone)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 425°.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium high heat until melted.
- Add shallots and cook until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add sage, and chopped mushrooms.
- Cook stirring often until mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown, about 8 minutes.
- Add cooked hominy and sauté for 1 minute, then add chicken stock and cook until liquid has
been absorbed, about 6 minutes.
- Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the cooled filling equally by the number of chicken legs and place into the pocket of each chicken thigh where the bone was removed.
- Place chicken nestled into the mole sauce (but not completely covered — leave some of the skin side up and out of the sauce).
- Roast until the chicken poking through the mole is golden brown and an instant read
thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, about 25 minutes.
- Now baste with the sauce from the pan, covering completely.
- Return to oven for 10 minutes until everything is a homogenous mixture.
- Lastly, remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Slice and spoon mole over the thigh to plate.