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Chicken Mole

This is my version of Chicken Mole, adapted from a lovely one in BBC Good Food’s magazine, I’ve changed it and made it a little easier but just as good.  I’ve made this for 6 people plus leftovers which are great served with jacket potatoes, tortilla wraps or warmed pittas with salad for lunch or an easy supper the next day.

For 6 people plus some for leftovers:

2 red peppers
2 tbsp sunflower oil
12 chicken thighs, skinned and boned
2 tsp ground cumin
3-4cm cinnamon stick
75g raisins
3 tbsp peanut butter, rough or smooth, whatever is in your cupboard
1 x 680g jar tomato passata with onion and garlic
1.5 teaspoons smoked paprika
25g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into small pieces
large bunch coriander
zest and juice of two limes
450g jasmine rice (long grain or basmati are fine)

Preheat the oven to it’s highest setting and place the red peppers in the hottest part for 15-20 minutes until the skin is completely blackened.   Remove and transfer to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave for 10 minutes.  Turn the oven down to 160c/gas 3.  (If you prefer to cook this on the stove top then set the grill to high and place the peppers under the grill, turning frequently until the skins are blackened and transfer to a bowl and cover with clingfilm as before.

Heat the sunflower oil in a non-stick frying pan, season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown them in the oil, remove to a plate lined with kitchen roll to drain, repeat with the rest of the thighs.

Chop the onion and fry until soft, add the cumin and cook for a minute, transfer to a large casserole and add the chicken thighs and cinnamon stick.

Remove the cling film from the peppers, the skin should come off very easily, remove the skin and take out the stalk and seeds, place the pepper into a food processor along with the raisins, peanut butter, passata and smoked paprika, blitz to a smooth paste and pour over the chicken and onions.  Rinse out the passata jar with around 2/3 jar water and add to the chicken. Place the casserole onto a medium heat and bring to the boil, season, cover and either place into the oven for an hour or turn the heat down on the stove top to a simmer (AGA place into the simmering oven for an hour)

After an hour take the casserole off the heat, remove the chicken and shred, replace back into the casserole along with the chocolate, stir to melt, taste and adjust seasoning.  Place back into the oven or onto a low heat for 20-30 minutes with the lid off to reduce slightly.  While that’s reducing, cook the rice.

Chop the coriander, zest the lime, stir half the coriander into the chicken and the remainder into the cooked rice along with the lime zest.  Leave some rice plain for fussy kids and adults.

Serve the rice with the chicken mole with wedges of lime juice to squeeze over, this is also really nice with chunky guacamole, soured cream and fresh chopped red chillies for added heat.

To make the guacamole just mash a fresh avocado with the juice of 1 lime – ta da quick guacamole.