For the Chicken:
8 chicken legs
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess skin
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
2 sprigs cilantro
For the Mole Sauce:
3/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, ground
8 medium-size tomatillos, husks removed, and cut into quarters
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
4 serrano chiles (seeded or not, according to taste as the seeds are the hottest part of chiles, use if preferred)
4 poblano chiles, roasted (see note below), skinned, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 romaine lettuce leaves, coarsely chopped
3 sprigs cilantro
3 sprigs epazote (if not available, you can use parsley)
4 cups chicken stock, strained, from cooking the chicken, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For garnish: Mexican crema, Tajín seasoning, pumpkin seeds and cilantro springs
• Place the chicken pieces, onion, carrot, garlic, and cilantro, in a stockpot with cold water to cover. Add salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender, approximately 45 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the mole.
• Remove 4 cups of the broth the chicken was cooked in, strain and set aside.
• Place the tomatillos, onion, garlic and serrano chiles in a saucepan with two cups of the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about five minutes, until the tomatillos become soft. Transfer the mixture to a blender; add the chopped poblanos, and lettuce and puree until smooth. Add the ground pumpkin seeds, cilantro and epazote (or parsley), and puree again until smooth.
• Heat the oil in the original saucepan; add the mole, and stir continuously as you gradually add the remaining two cups of chicken stock. Simmer over low heat for about thirty minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning or sticking. Season to taste with kosher salt.
• Remove the cooked chicken pieces from the broth to a covered casserole dish. Cover the chicken with the mole sauce. Heat the sauce to a low-simmer, cover and cook for 20 – 30 minutes or until the chicken is “falling off the bone”.
• To serve, ladle some of the mole sauce in wide, shallow soup bowl; place one or two pieces of chicken in each bowl, ladle more mole over, and garnish with Mexican crema, pumpkin seeds, a sprinkle of Tajín seasoning and whole cilantro springs. Serve with plenty of warm flour and/or corn tortillas.
• Note: To remove the skins from poblano chiles, place them over a gas flame on the stove top or grill, or under a broiler, turning frequently until they are completely charred. Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow them to steam for 10 – 15 minutes to loosen the skins. Remove the blackened skins with the fingers, and open to remove the seeds, pod and stem. The flesh can them be chopped to add to the recipe.
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CHEF CHARLIE'S BLOG
Chef Charlie is a Bay Area chef, culinary food educator, lifestyle coach, food enthusiast and culinary travel guide, who is fascinated by the interplay of food and culture.