Chicken Mole Poblano
Why This Recipe Works
By stripping down mole poblano to only the most essential elements and steps, we turned this complex Mexican classic into an easy-to-make, yet still highly flavorful, dish. A combination of ancho and chipotle chiles makes for an earthy, smoky, sweet, and subtly spicy base; sesame seeds and almonds add richness and body (a slice of sandwich bread further binds the paste); and a handful of herbs and dried spices, along with a couple of ounces of unsweetened chocolate, lend warmth and just enough bitterness. To simplify the preparation of the paste, we didn’t fry or toast the paste ingredients (except for the ancho chiles) before grinding, as most recipes call for. Instead, we “oven-fried” the paste by adding more oil to the pot and letting it cook gently for 30 minutes in the oven. Rather than pouring the finished sauce over a poached whole bird, we gently stewed chicken parts directly in the sauce so they picked up even more flavor and the sauce thoroughly drenched the meat.