Almost every region in Mexico has its own version of mole. The robust, nutty and spicy mole poblano is from the south-central state of Puebla, where, some historians say, an order of nuns developed the recipe for braising turkey in the 17th century to honor an archbishop. Substituting chicken, as here, makes the dish quicker and easier.
Amazing Chicken Recipes
One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
1 whole head of garlic
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
One 7-ounce jar prepared mole rojo
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
How to Make It
In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, combine the chicken, bay leaves, onion, garlic, peppercorns and a generous pinch of salt. Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is almost cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and strain the broth into a heatproof bowl. Set aside 4 cups of the broth and refrigerate the remaining broth for another use.
Wipe out the casserole and add the mole to it. Whisk in the 4 cups of reserved broth until smooth and bring to a boil. Season with salt. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the casserole and simmer over moderately low heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and skim any fat from the sauce. Spoon 2 cups of mole sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and pass the remaining mole sauce at the table.
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