Mole Chicken Enchilada with Homemade Mole Sauce
How about some Mole Chicken Enchilada for dinner tonight?! With just 15 minutes prep, this Mexican favorite is far easy to prepare at home than you think.
Today, I'm taking 'complex' out of Mexican staple, Mole Chicken Enchilada. You will be amazed how simple and delicious mole sauce can be if prepared using right ingredients and in right way. Mole sauce is ready with just 15 minutes prep. Once sauce is done, chicken enchilada can be prepared in no time.
Mole sauce has reputation of being so complex where it is actually not. Yes, it does need some ingredients to develop authentic flavor but I can tell you it is worth the effort.
A batch of mole sauce stay good in refrigerator for more than a week. You can make it once and serve couple of times. Plus the quality of sauce is so good you will forget buying jars or paying 30+ dollars in restaurants.
No matter what we eat for lunch, a family-style dinner is must in our house. This is the time when we discuss our day and unwind with comfort of a homemade meal.
Just like you, some days I'm so busy over the weekdays that a homemade meal seems hard to envision. For such days, I like to prepare main component of dish over the weekend that helps me make a homemade meal possible on weeknights.
I can't believe I'm telling you this but some part of me thinks... the same dish prepared on a lazy hour of weekend tastes better than one prepared on weekdays.. exact same recipe. May be because on weekend I have time to pay attention to details?! Or just because mind is relaxed :)
Mole Sauce, or enchilada sauce, or mother curry sauce, all of these are great investment when made over weekend. Once sauce is ready, putting dinner together becomes as easy as cutting veggies and folding into tortillas.
What is Mole Sauce?
Mole is general term used for all kind of sauces served in Mexican cuisine.
There are many types of mole sauce in Mexican cuisine but the one I'm sharing today is Mole Poblano. Mole poblano is perfect balance of bitter, sweet and spicy that comes from few kind of chilies and chocolate. The best kind of chocolate for this is Mexican semi-sweet chocolate. Chocolate adjusts the heat of chilies and gives sauce it's signature lush chocolate color.
The taste of mole depends a lot on this main ingredient i.e. chocolate. I mean not just any chocolate but Mexican chocolate. Mexican Chocolate gives mole it's signature intense flavor. It is not as chocolaty as you might think but bitter-sweet with slight chocolate mouth-feel.
Of course fruity ancho chilies and sesame seeds are other two important ingredients but chocolate can make or break the dish.
I'm saying so because initially I made mole with dark Mexican chocolate and fell in love with the lush dark brown color of sauce. Color was what I was after but it was bit bitter for my taste. My husband enjoyed every bit of it because he loves dark chocolate. Second try I used semi-sweet and that was something which made me like my creation. So, you can choose chocolate dark or semi based on your taste preference.
Fact Time: Did you know, one of kind of mole - Mole Amarillo does not have chocolate and it looks just like a spicy Indian curry. This Indian girl is not crazy for Mexican cuisine for nothing!
Oh, and if you looking to make vegetarian version of mole sauce than use vegetarian stock instead of chicken. And fill with veggies instead of chicken.
The important of step for making Mole Sauce is toasting the chilies and sesame seeds. Toasting brings out flavor of chilies and make them more flavorful. Dried poblano a.k.a ancho chilies are dark red big chilies with amazingly fruity flavor. Oh yes, you read correct "fruity". Hold one in hand and smell.. it smells like fragrance of a dried apple which has been dried next to a batch of drying chilies.
Dry toasting opens up chilies. Next, sesame seeds are toasted until these are nutty and turn brown. This is yet another signature flavor for mole - nuttiness. To add to same flavor, I also added silvered almonds to the sauce.
Once all toasted ingredients and chilies are pureed. I simmer puree with chicken stock, tomato sauce, and Mexican chocolate to develop flavor. In 20-25 minutes sauce is ready to strain. It is important to strain the sauce to get rid of any solids/seeds of chilies.
That's it! Mole sauce is ready! It is thick at this point. So just before serving with enchiladas, I cook a potion sauce for 5 minutes with more stock to consistency I like. Then, fold some sauce, shredded chicken in warm totillas, drizzle hot mole sauce on top with some cotija cheese...
...Chicken enchiladas as ready to enjoy!
I hope you will try them soon! -Savita x
These are my favorite homemade sides with Mole Chicken
Mole Chicken Enchilada with Homemade Mole Sauce
- 1. Remove seeds from ancho chilies, toast in dry heated skillet until chilies are pliable and darker in color (1-2 minutes each side), then soak in 1 cup of hot water and set aside.
- 2. In same pan, add sesame seeds and toast stirring as needed until seeds are brown and aromatic. Remove from heat and set aside.
- 3. In a blender jar, add tomato sauce, sesame seeds, chipotle chili, ancho chili (drain water and reserve), almonds, raisins, spices, and oregano, breadcrumbs (or tortillas if using). Add drained chili water, say 1-2 tbsp to facilitate blending of all ingredients.
- 4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy bottom pot. Add blender's ingredients with chopped mexican chocolate and 1 cup chicken stock. Mix well. Cover and cook for 18-22 minutes on medium heat or until sauce is thick and dark in color.
- 5. Remove from heat, strain through fine mesh to get rid of all solids. Return sauce back to pot with 1/2 cup of more chicken stock. (add stock more or less as per consistency of sauce you want.) Mix well and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes.
- 6. For enchilada, warm tortillas in microwave until pliable. Spread some mole sauce on each, add shredded chicken, and salsa. Fold and place seam-side down on plate.Top with more mole sauce. Sprinkle cotija cheese on top and garnish with red onion and cilantro. Serve immediately.
** Use precooked chicken or rotisserie chicken. Even leftover turkey works great for this recipe.
Gluten Free:To keep mole sauce gluten free, just use fried crushed tortillas instead of breadcrumbs.
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