Oaxacan Mole Negro
Chicken and stock:
2 large chickens (about 3 1/2 pounds each), cut into parts
2 small heads garlic, scored around the middle
2 small white onions, roughly sliced
6 fresh mint sprigs
4 ounces pound chilhuacles negros or guajillos
2 ounces Mexican pasilla chiles
2 ounces chiles mulatos
1/2 pound (about 1 large) tomatoes, broiled
1 cup water
3 whole cloves
3 whole allspice
6 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
6 fresh marjoram sprigs, leaves only
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
3/4 cup melted lard or safflower oil, divided
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup shelled peanuts
10 unskinned almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1 small onion, thickly sliced
12 small garlic cloves, peeled
1 very thick 3-inch cinnamon stick, slivered
1 ripe plantain, skinned and cut into thick slices
2 crisp-fried corn tortillas
3 thick slices dried French bread
2-ounce tablet Mexican drinking chocolate
4 cups chicken broth
1. Put the chicken into a large saucepan with the garlic, onions, and mint. Add water to cover and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover pan, and cook until tender, about 35 minutes. Strain, reserving broth.
2. Remove stems from dried chiles. Slit them open, and remove seeds and veins, reserving
3. Put reserved chile seeds into a dry frying pan and toast over fairly high heat, shaking them occasionally so they brown evenly. Then raise the heat and char until black. Cover with cold water; let soak for 5 minutes.
5. Heat some of the lard in a small frying pan. Fry sesame seeds for a few seconds, until deep golden. Strain, putting the fat back into the pan and seeds into the blender jar. Blend as smooth as possible.
6. Fry the rest of the ingredients, except the chiles and chocolate, one by one, strain and add to blender jar, blending after each addition and adding water or chicken broth, as necessary, to release the blades.
7. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 1/4 cup lard. Add the mixture from the blender. Fry over medium heat, stirring and scraping the bottom from time to time, for about 15 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, put a few of the chiles and about 2 cups of their soaking water in the blender jar; blend until smooth. Add more chiles and blend again, repeating until all the chiles have been pureed. Add them to the mixture in the big pot, along with the chocolate; cook for 5 minutes more.
9. Add 4 cups reserved chicken broth; cook 35 minutes more. Add more broth if necessary; the mole should just coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Note: You can use the mole in a variety of ways. Add the chicken and salt to taste; cook 10 minutes longer and serve. Or use the mole for enchiladas or as major flavoring ingredient in Loretta Keller's Mexican-inspired clam chowder. Or freeze the mole in 1 cup containers for later use.
-- Emeril Lagasse, FoodNetwork.com